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Cabot Cove, Maine, is the small, fictional fishing village in which Jessica Fletcher lives in the television series Murder, She Wrote. Many episodes of Murder, She Wrote used Cabot Cove as a location because the show's producers were contractually obliged to deliver five Cabot Cove episodes a year. Despite the town's population of 3,560, Cabot Cove became notable as a place where a large number of murders took place. The New York Times calculated that almost 2% of Cabot Cove's residents died during the show's run. More visitors to Cabot Cove died than residents.
Cabot Cove is named after the town's founder, Winfred Cabot. Perhaps setting the stage for the town's reputation for murders, Cabot was killed in a murder-suicide situation with his wife Hepzibah. It has an architectural heritage of Victorian houses. Given the village's rich history, coastal location and close proximity to eastern U.S. cities, Cabot Cove was transformed from a small, sleepy fishing village to a tourist destination for the people coming from New York.
Despite important economic changes, politically there have not been many changes. The mayor has been Sam Booth for many years. The town's sheriff for a long time was Amos Tupper (played by Tom Bosley). He was later replaced by Mort Metzger (played by Ron Masak).
Some of the town's leading citizens were: the mystery writer Jessica Fletcher, Mayor Sam Booth, Sheriff Mort Metzger (second sheriff seen in the series), Sheriff Amos Tupper (original sheriff), and Doctor Seth Hazlitt. Other recurring citizens include: Eve Simpson (real-estate agent), Phyllis Grant (travel agent) and Loretta Spiegel (owner of Loretta's Beauty Parlor).
Exterior shots of Cabot Cove were filmed in Mendocino, California.
In "The Szechuan Dragon" (season 6, episode #134) a transport truck is seen stopping at the righthand turnoff to Cabot Cove to let out a hitchhiking old sailing captain. The sign indicates that Cabot Cove is 2 miles from this point. The other destinations on the sign are as follows: Portland 20 miles, Biddeford 37 miles, Kennebunkport 48 miles, Kennebunk 46 miles, and Ogunquit is either 50 or 56 miles away. The ZIP Code for Cabot Cove, 03041, is actually for East Derry, New Hampshire.
This would place Cabot Cove 18 to 22 miles northeast of Portland, somewhere between Freeport and Brunswick (placing it in Cumberland County) and off of U.S. Route 1. This distance is corroborated by Harry McGraw (played by Jerry Orbach) who states that Cabot Cove is 121 miles from Boston (season 1, episode #15); though he could be giving a rough estimate. The primary difficulty with this location for Cabot Cove is that a person traveling south or southwest towards Portland, along U.S. Route 1 and making a right hand turn off the highway would be turning west or northwest, away from the Atlantic Ocean, not east towards the ocean where one would expect to find a place called Cabot Cove.
In "Murder Takes a Bus" (season 1, episode #18) Jessica and Sheriff Tupper travel by bus to a convention in Portland from Cabot Cove. When boarding the bus, the driver announces the stops between Cabot Cove and Portland to be Newcastle and Brunswick. This places Cabot Cove up the road from Newcastle and much further from Portland than 18 to 22 miles, since Newcastle is over 50 miles from Portland.
In "A Body to Die For", a sign for US Route 27, which runs nowhere near Maine, is visible on a Cabot Cove street. However, Maine State Route 27 runs north from the island town of Southport through Boothbay Harbor and Boothbay to Edgecomb, where it meets US Route 1.
Cabot Cove, Maine, is referenced and then shown in the comic book Rising Stars : Voices of the Dead. This is a spin-off from the comic book maxi-series Rising Stars, created by J.M. Straczynski. Straczynski joined Murder, She Wrote as a co-producer for a short time during the planning and pre-production stage of his own TV Series Babylon 5.
- Barron, James, 1996-04-14, Whodunit? That Under-40 Crowd, New York Times.