Springfield, Illinois is the setting of the television soap opera Guiding Light. It is generally portrayed as a small city or large town in the midwest, and circa 2008 is more specifically named as Springfield Township in the show's opening sequence. The township is also next to a lake large enough to have a lighthouse. Over the years, the town has become the center of major corporations, family drama and events that mark Springfield as one of the most memorable settings of the daytime drama.
A handful of brief references—such as a bar's sign in the July 6, 2009 episode—have given the state as Illinois; however the real Springfield, Illinois is the state capital and much larger than the town usually represented on Guiding Light. On the show's last episode, airing September 18, 2009, a car with Illinois license plates was shown leaving the town's public park.
The real-life Springfield Township, LaPorte County, Indiana is a good fit distance- and location-wise, but is much too small, while Springfield, Ohio is about the right size, but too far away. In other references, most recently in a check written by the character Alexandra Spaulding (played by Marj Dusay), Springfield is a generic city merely located in "U.S.A." (much like Salem on Days of Our Lives and the Springfield depicted in The Simpsons). However, envelopes addressed to various characters showed a ZIP code beginning with 6; Illinois ZIP codes begin with 6. But Springfield was always identified in those addresses as Springfield, U.S.A. In a late-1980s episode of As the World Turns a highway mileage sign showed Springfield to be 90 miles from Oakdale. In another late-'80s episode the teenage characters of Andy Dixon, Lien Hughes, and Paul Stenbeck mentioned going to a high-school basketball game between Oakdale and Springfield. The original setting of Guiding Light was Five Points, Illinois, followed by Selby Flats, California; the location changed to Springfield in 1966 when the show's core family, the Bauers, relocated there.
In 2008, the show began airing episodes filmed on high definition cameras and developed a more natural format. Filming for the show took place in Peapack, New Jersey, as well as in its studio at the CBS Broadcast Center at West 57th Street in Manhattan. The "Entering Springfield Township" sign featured in the 2008-09 opening sequence is an actual road sign in Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey and is owned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The firehouse in Springfield, New Jersey was also seen in the opening.
The Beacon Hotel – The hotel was a project thought of by Cassie Layne Winslow and Olivia Spencer in the late 1990s. After some years of co-owning the hotel, Cassie sold Olivia her 50% stake in the hotel. Current residents include Cyrus Foley, and Lizzie Spaulding. While Olivia was dying, she gave her ownership to Cassie, but she survived and they split it again until Cassie left Springfield for Hawaii.
Company – This is a diner owned by Buzz Cooper, but is currently being run by Marina Cooper. Originally named Tony and Company after its first owner Tony Reardon, it was built on the site of the Reardon family homesite, which also became a boarding house for residents of the town.
Lewis Oil Company – This company was founded by Harlan Billy Lewis I. The company was run by Billy Lewis II and Joshua Lewis. However, in 1999, Phillip and Alan Spaulding used trickery to steal the company from underneath of the Lewis family, thus it became a subsidiary of Spaulding Enterprises.
Lewis Construction Company – This company was founded by Joshua Lewis in 2000 to replace the lost Lewis Oil Company. Joshua ran the company until handing over the reins to his brother Billy in 2005. The current head of Lewis Construction is Bill Lewis III. Executives and Board Members include Joshua, Billy, and Reva Shayne. Olivia Spencer owns the building that houses Lewis Construction Company.
Spaulding Enterprises – This is an international conglomerate located in Springfield. Founded by Brandon Spaulding, it has had many ruthless CEOs including Alan Spaulding, Alexandra Spaulding, Roger Thorpe, Amanda Spaulding, and Alan-Michael Spaulding. It is currently being run by Phillip Spaulding. It has many divisions (including Lewis Oil Company, Advantage Systems, and LTA), and is the sole source of money for the Spaulding family fortune. Since all of the Spaulding family members are heirs, control of the company is often a point of contention. Lizzie Spaulding is the eldest Spaulding heiress. The board of directors include Phillip, Beth Raines Spaulding, Lizzie Spaulding, Vanessa Chamberlain, Blake Marler, India Von Halkein, Alan-Michael Spaulding, and Alexandra Spaulding.
Spaulding Mansion – This is the biggest home in Springfield by far, even large enough to be classified as a mansion. In addition to the main house, the property also has a guest house, servant quarters, a pool house, and a potting shed. Control of the mansion is sometimes as contentious as that of the company. So in family patriarch Brandon Spaulding's will (which became company by-laws), the C.E.O of Spaulding Enterprises would not only control the company, but also the entire Spaulding Mansion. Current or recent residents include Alan Spaulding, Alexandra Spaulding and James Spaulding. Even though Zach Spaulding and Emma Spaulding live with their mothers, they occasionally stay at the mansion. Lillian Raines, Beth Raines Spaulding, Lizzie Spaulding, Natalia Rivera and Rafe Rivera have also lived in the mansion.
Bauer House is a large Spanish-style home on Skyline Drive that Ed Bauer purchased with his third wife Rita in 1978. Ed remained in the house, even after his divorce from Rita, and eventually his fourth wife, Maureen, would reside with him there. The house would remain in the Bauer family through 2009, and would house, at on time or another, Kelly Nelson, Christina (Blake) Bauer (who lived there with Ed and Rita while her mother was in prison in 1979), Rick Bauer, Michelle Bauer and Meta Bauer. House is next-door to the Spaulding Mansion.
Spaulding Lake House - This is the lake house that is owned by the Spaulding family. This is the house where Daisy Lemay and Rafe Rivera had sex for the first time, and conceived a child.
San Gabriel's Island - This is the private Spaulding vacation destination. The entire island is owned by the family and is called San Gabriel's. This is where Beth Spaulding Bauer miscarried her son with Alan Spaulding when she found out Phillip Spaulding was alive. This is also the place where Beth gave birth to the couple's second child, Peyton Spaulding.
The Lewis Mansion - This is the former home of Joshua Lewis and Reva Shayne. It previously belonged to the late H.B. Lewis, but was sold upon Reva and Joshua's 2006 divorce. Reva has since moved back to her farmhouse, and has temporarily stayed at the Spaulding Mansion with Alan.
The Jessup Farmhouse - This is originally the home of Peter Jessup, but it was passed down to Roger Thorpe when he swindled Peter. Roger's son, Hart Jessup, took control of the farm from his father, and it became his permanent residence with Dinah Marler for over two years. After Hart and Dinah divorced, Hart became engaged to Cassie Layne Winslow. After he was murdered by his ex-wife Dinah, the farmhouse was given to his son with Cassie, R.J. Jessup, and became his permanent residence along with his mother Cassie (who controls interest until RJ reaches age the age of 18). Cassie temporarily moved to San Cristobal after her marriage to Richard Winslow, but the farmhouse remained her permanent Springfield residence. It temporarily harbored Cassie's third and 4th husbands, Edmund Winslow and Joshua Lewis. After Cassie and R.J. moved to Hawaii, the farmhouse was left abandoned until late 2008 when Natalia Rivera bought it and began residing there. Natalia also invited Olivia Spencer and her daughter Emma to live there as well, partly to help pay the monthly payments and partly making it easier for Natalia to look after Olivia.
The San Cristoballian Palace - This is the large estate of the monarchs of San Cristobal. It is currently vacated, but rights are reserved to Will Winslow when he reaches the age of 18. It has previously housed Cassie Layne Winslow, and her late husband, the deceased Prince Richard Winslow. It also temporarily was the home of Ambassador Edmund Winslow.
The Carriage House - The carriage house was recently sold, but it was formerly the home of Blake Marler and her late husband, Ross Marler for over a decade. After Ross' death in 2006, Blake sold the house and moved into the Beacon Hotel.
The Reva-Bend Farmhouse - This is the long-time residence of Reva Shayne. The house was built by Hawk Shayne, Rusty Shayne, and Roxy Shayne for Reva, and has been her sole home since. At one point, it was the home of Holly Reade.
The Bauer Cabin-Lodge - This is currently the home of Rick Bauer and Mindy Lewis. The cabin has also played host to Beth Spaulding Bauer, and Rick's ex-wife, Mel Boudreau, and his daughter, Leah Bauer for 4 years. The home was originally built for Ed Bauer.