The Kids from America

Since I recently wrote about possible locations for Superman’s hometown, I might as well do the same for the Americans who ended up in Oz, either to live or just to visit. As might be expected, it’s a combination of real and fictional places.

  • Dorothy – We don’t know exactly where Dorothy was born. The beginning of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz suggests she came to live in Kansas after being orphaned, but it’s not specified, and in Dorothy and the Wizard she claims to have been born on a Kansas farm. Aunt Em does appear to come from somewhere other than Kansas, with Phyllis Ann Karr’s Hollyhock Dolls giving her original home as Indiana. The closest town to Uncle Henry’s farm is apparently Butterfield, not an actual place in Kansas. There is a Butterfield in Missouri, but it isn’t that close to Kansas.
  • The Wizard of Oz – Born in Omaha, probably before Nebraska became a state in 1867. In Emerald City, he reports that he’s visited Europe and Ireland, possibly while with the circus.
  • Shaggy Man – He and his brother were initially from Colorado, but he wandered a lot since then. He says he’s been to Mexico and Boston, and of course he met Dorothy in Kansas.
  • Button-Bright – From Philadelphia. We don’t know where in the city he lived, but his Uncle Bob lived in Germantown, and he planned to take the streetcar there in Sky Island.
  • Betsy Bobbin – From Oklahoma, with Greg Hunter identifying her hometown as Lone Grove. She probably traveled some in her short American life, as she claims in Hungry Tiger to be familiar with subways.
  • Trot and Cap’n Bill – Lived on the coast of California, but the nearest village is never named. I’ve seen it suggested that the description of the coast is reminiscent of Coronado, near San Diego, where L. Frank Baum vacationed. Lost King claims Trot came from San Francisco. In David Hulan’s Glass Cat, he has Trot and the Cap’n hail from Laguna Beach in Orange County.
  • Bobbie Downs (Bob Up) – From Philadelphia, although the circus from which he was transported to Oz was said to be in Stumptown. The closest Stumptown is near Lancaster, over sixty miles from Philadelphia.
  • Peter Brown – Another native Philadelphian, and in his case we’re even told he attends the Blaine School. This school still exists on North 30th Street near Berks Street.
  • Speedy – We don’t know where he lived before his parents died, but his home with his Uncle Billy is in Garden City, Long Island, New York.
  • Jenny Jump – The Jenny Jump Mountains and State Forest are in northwestern New Jersey, near where John R. Neill himself lived.
  • Bucky Jones – He was blown to the Nonestic Ocean from New York Harbor, but I don’t think we’re specifically told that he lived in New York.
  • Twink and Tom – From Buffalo, New York. Jack Snow says that their father works at a university, but doesn’t specify which one. In “Abby,” Eric Shanower makes it Columbia, which means a long commute. Shanower hints at this when he says Professor Jones is only home from three evenings per week.
  • Jam – I believe he’s the only canonical Oz character to actually state his address: 403 Terrace Place, Evansville, Ohio. Evansville is the name for an unincorporated area in Trumbull County, southwest of Cleveland, but it has no Terrace Place.
  • Robin Brown – From Clackamas County in Oregon. The county is real, but it looks like the town near which Merry Go Round starts, Cherryburg, is not.
  • Tompy Terry – His hometown is Pennwood, a literal translation of “Pennsylvania,” but not a real town there. His school is identified as Pennwood Prep.
  • David Perry – His grandmother lives in “the last [house] on Latch’s Lane, facing Long Meadow and right on the edge of Wister’s Wood.” Dorothy Maryott’s afterword for Enchanted Island reveals that Latch’s Lane and Wister Road were both near where Ruth Plumly Thompson lived, outside Philadelphia. So, while I’m not sure it’s specified, it’s likely that David is another Pennsylvanian.
This entry was posted in Characters, Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Eric Shanower, Jack Snow, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Oz, Oz Authors, Phyllis Ann Karr, Rachel Cosgrove Payes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Kids from America

  1. segmation says:

    Nice blog on Evansville! Thanks for sharing.

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