Andy and Opie statue.
Andy and Opie statue.

Andy and Opie Statues

Field review by the editors.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

Andy and Opie Taylor, the North Carolina father and barefoot son played by Andy Griffith and future director Ronny Howard on The Andy Griffith Show, are immortalized in bronze on their way to their fictional Mayberry fishin' hole. Sheriff Andy is wearing his uniform and badge, apparently still on duty in super-safe Mayberry.

The statue was one of several commissioned by the TV Land network in the early 2000s, honoring characters from classic TV sitcoms of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, including Mary Tyler Moore, Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Bob Newhart (But not, contrary to popular belief, The Fonz).

Unfortunately, TV Land goofed and put its Andy and Opie statue in Raleigh, the state capital, rather than in Mount Airy, the town that had inspired Mayberry. When the network later approached Andy Griffith about joining a "Back to Mayberry" cast reunion special, Andy said no thanks -- but he might change his mind if TV Land made a second statue for Mount Airy. Backed into a corner -- the network couldn't have a Mayberry special without sheriff Andy -- TV Land agreed.

Andy attended the statue's dedication on September 24, 2004. It was placed outside the Andy Griffith Playhouse, formerly the Rockford Street Grammar School auditorium where Andy first performed on stage in the 3rd grade. It's now also the site of the Andy Griffith Museum, which opened in 2009.

Abigail Linville, the museum's director of collections, called Andy Griffith's stubborn stand for the statue "a very significant event" in the history of Mount Airy.

Andy and Opie Statues

Address:
218 Rockford St., Mount Airy, NC
Directions:
I-77 exit 100 to Hwy 89/Pine St. east into town. At Moody's Funeral Home, turn right at the traffic light onto Graves St. At the top of the hill, turn right onto Rockford St. The statues will be on the right, between the museum and the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Chang and Eng, Famous Siamese TwinsChang and Eng, Famous Siamese Twins, Mount Airy, NC - < 1 mi.
Andy Griffith MuseumAndy Griffith Museum, Mount Airy, NC - < 1 mi.
Andy Griffith TV Town of MayberryAndy Griffith TV Town of Mayberry, Mount Airy, NC - < 1 mi.
In the region:
The Foot of James A. Reid, Salisbury, NC - 58 mi.

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August 15, 2020

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