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Oregon: Springfield already knew it was the real 'Simpsons' town

April 11, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • This 2007 plaque at the Springfield Museum proclaims Springfield, Ore., as the town that inspired "The Simpsons" TV burg.
This 2007 plaque at the Springfield Museum proclaims Springfield, Ore.,… (Springfield Chamber of…)

If you go to the Springfield Museum in Springfield, Ore., you can take your picture on the "Simpsons" couch sculpture with Bart and family. And you can read the plaque that says: "Yo to Springfield, Ore., the real Springfield. Your pal, Matt Groening, proud Oregonian, 2007."

So why the big buzz about the "The Simpsons" hometown being revealed Wednesday in a Smithsonian magazine interview for the May issue? Likely because it's news to the rest of us who live outside that Springfield, population around 57,000.

The newspaper in nearby Eugene proclaims: "It's Our Springfield" on today.

"I have known since the late 1980s," says Mikayle Anderson, community relations director for the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Back when the TV series debuted in 1989, she recalled reading an interview in the Oregonian in which Groening said as much.

Anderson also says the map of the TV version of Springfield looks a lot like the Oregon town's map, and the smoke stacks at the Weyerhauser pulp mill look suspiciously like the nuclear power plant lampooned in the TV series.

So what's there for travelers to do in the real Springfield? Fishing and drift boating in the McKenzie River. "Everything about this city has a drift boat," Anderson says. Other highlights include Dorris Ranch, the state's oldest working filbert farm, and the town's Richard E. Wildish Community Theater.

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