WHERE IS THAT
mysterious and fictitious Mid-western city of River Heights, which is hometown to the most renowned amateur sleuth in history?This question is perpetually beseeching for elucidation from those who peruse the
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories.Some people believe it is in Ohio, fashioned
after an illustrious city there, while a number of people consider it located in New Jersey, or even Illinois.Still others actually suppose it placed in Iowa, the home state of the beloved Nancy Drew ghostwriter,
The reasons for the various locations
differ from person to person for remarkable rationales.Many readers of The Nancy
Drew Mystery Stories believe that the locality of River Heights has changed through the years.A few even declare that depending on which ghostwriter wrote the story, thatthis essentiallypinpoints the location
of the small city! Where the mid-western US reasonably compares to the original text, and the eastern US justifiably draws
a parallel to the revised text of the series, this is a striking case indeed.
Wherever it is, the small midwestern
city has eternally remained elusive to the reader who is sufficiently intrepid to scrutinize maps, atlases, and globes. The
ever-persistent sleuth, deciphering charts and diagrams, might uncover places analogous to those of River Heights City, Utah,
settled in 1882, a quiet bedroom community whose motto is Prettiest Little City at the top of the State. Instead, maybe unearth
the now acclaimed River Heights Vineyard Church found in Woodbury, Minnesota.Then,
with the utilization of that ever-dependable magnifying glass, the spunky detective may perchance discover the 18 holes, River
Heights Golf Course, which is obscurely located in DeKalb, Illinois.How conversely
interesting these settings may be, none is our intangible city however, cited here for inimitable objectivity.
River Heights Country Club
In a recent poll, which concluded
on the NancyDrewSleuths discussion site on the World Wide Web, the survey, which posed the question "Where do you believe
River Heights to be located?" showed that 74 percent of the respondents selected that River Heights was located in the Mid-western
United States.The Eastern US acquired eleven percent of the votes and as well,
eleven percent cast for the North-Eastern US.There was also a near four percent,
who chose the Central United States.
When solicited for their vision of
the small city, the majority of respondents in another opinion survey described River Heights as a small urban river-town
with many affluent residential districts.They expressed impressive visualizations
of paved, tree-lined roads in the dignified neighborhoods, with some dirt roads that meander through quiet farms and forests,
to outlying lakes and other picturesque small towns.
The respondents also portrayed it
as a distinctly old andestablished city,
with a small commercial and industrial district, and as well incorporating a diminutive sleazier residential sector. From
where else are the villains in some of the stories drawn, they retort logically.
Many articulate that River Heights
reminds them of a small city that they have occasioned to visit or live near, and often situate it in many differing places
throughout the United States.Some surmise that the authors deliberately intended
the small municipality to be that way, not a real place but one that is timeless and un-locatable, an attractive little borough
that can only be instituted in the authors minds and in the pages of the mystery books they create.
Farms of River Heights
In spite of everything, still others will
effectively debate that all writers draw from their own personal real-life experiences and thereby are writing from something
that is tangible so therefore; River Heights is fashioned after an actual place.Is
this initiative categorically plausible?Can we find a small conurbation that
matches the greatly sought after city of River Heights? In addition, can we definitively affirm the authors were reminiscing
of a particular realcity, whilst composing
these books?Are we to solve this decidedly intriguing and baffling mystery at
We have the books of the series to
inquire about evidence as to the locality of River Heights.There are innumerable
hints to the neighborhoods and discernable descriptions of the fair city besieged throughout those pages that might assist
us in our investigation.In addition, we even have some of the illustrations
in the books to examine for telltale signs that could perhaps provide us some suggestion as to the small citys position.With so much irrefutable proof of its authenticity at hand, how can the genuine counterpart
to this city be so indubitably challenging to find?
In the second part of this series Where is River Heights? we will investigate some of the areas
where the ghostwriters of the Nancy Drew Series lived, and as well search for a few clues to the associations in those vicinities
that may harmonize with the authors construal of River Heights.We will also
ascertain why some consider River Heights to be located in varied states, and furthermore disclose specific cities, along
with revealing reasons why there is a persistent belief, that River Heights was formed, subsequently to them.
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