A completely derailed conversation got me to think about the location of the Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield. Once upon a time I decided to hunt down the locations of all Springfields and Shelbyvilles in the US of A. After all, Shelbyville is Springfield’s hated rival. There is now canonical evidence from the creator himself that Springfield is the one in Oregon (actually based on Portland if I’m reading that right, thanks to Mish for the link), but I decided to do this anyway so I have a reference if I ever decide to do this again. This is what happens when you’re done with lab early but can’t bug out too soon because the boss decided to show up. Here are the results…
According to Yahoo! Maps, there are 27 Springfields in the US of A. They are in the following states:
Missouri (or is it Missoura?)
Wisconsin (they’re so awesome they have TWO Springfields…I don’t think that’s allowed)
Conversely, there are only seven Shelbyvilles in the nation and they are in:
Missouri (possibly Missoura)
So let’s narrow it down a bit. Since there are only seven Shelbyvilles we can look and see which ones have a nearby Springfield.
The Shelbyville in Illinois could have potential Springfield neighbors in the same state (IL), Kentucky, Missouri, or Wisconsin. Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee and Arkansas might be a tad too far away but let’s include them too. Let’s also figure the distance between the Springfield in Illinois and the Shelbyville in Indiana just for kicks.
Shelbyville (IL) to Springfield (IL): 59.3 miles…okay, there’s no point to checking the other ones, that’s pretty damn close.
The Shelbyville in Kentucky could be close to its in-state Springfield, or the ones in Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri(a) or Arkansas. Let’s see…
Shelbyville (KY) to Springfield (KY): 45.9 miles…there is literally no way any of the other ones could be closer.
Let’s check the one in Michigan next. That Shelbyville may have neighbors in Ohio or Minnesota, maybe even the two in Wisconsin.
Shelbyville (MI) to Springfield (MI): 37.6 miles. Yeah, let’s just stay in state here. Getting a bit closer together as we go, how about that?
Next on the list is the other obvious pairing in Missouri(a).
Shelbyville (MO) to Springfield (MO): 235 miles. Not so obvious. How about to the one in Illinois?
Shelbyville (MO) to Springfield (IL): 146 miles. Guess it’s not in Missouri(a).
Just for kicks I’m going to check the one in Tennessee:
Shelbyville (TN) to Springfield (TN): 83.9 miles. Nope, not this one either.
Therefore, I declare Springfield to be in Michigan since they have the closest Shelbyville. Matt Groening doesn’t know his geography.
I hope this has been fun and educational for you as we await first pitch.