- This article is about the fictional town. For the radio drama, see Adventures in Odyssey. For the internet forum, see The Town of Odyssey.
Odyssey is the fictional setting for the Christian-themed radio program Adventures in Odyssey. Though its exact size is never specified, it can be inferred from numerous Adventures in Odyssey episodes that Odyssey has a population between 40,000 and 55,000 (it was published as 34,770 circa 1990). Though its location is never specified on the AIO show, the first and third episodes of "Family Portraits" stated that it is located in Ohio. It is located in Campbell County (the seat of which is Connellsville), a fictionalized county bearing no known connection to any of the five counties bearing that name in the United States. The current mayor is Spencer Hicks. Click here to see a list of all the characters who have been mayor.
The first full account of the history of Odyssey was presented in #92: “The Ill-Gotten Deed”, which concerns a book of the same name written by John Avery Whittaker. In the late 1700's and early 1800's it was inhabited by a small band of Indians according to The Odyssey Times in the Official Guide. According to Whittaker's The Ill-Gotten Deed, much of the land Odyssey occupies was originally owned by the father of twin brothers Horace and Grover McAlister, who left it to his sons in his will in the 1834.
The land was located in the Wey-Aka-Tal-ah-Nee-Tee Valley, which, when translated from a fictional Native American language, means "Land-that-stinks-like-swamp." In reality, the valley was not a swamp, but simply suffered poor drainage during the rainy season from a large lake at the top of the large hill surrounding the valley. The Indians are thought to have come from a land that was swampy. Horace McAlister competed with his brother for the land. Grover beat Horace to the land and learned that it was worthless because of the swamp like rainy season and tricked Horace into taking the land as a gesture of good will after Horace saved Grover's life from a group of attacking Indians. However, Horace was a learned outdoors-man and fixed the drainage problem with the help of other farmers by digging several drainage ditches.
In the future the townsfolk all gathered to give the town a name. After much debating it was Ol' Doc McAlister who stated, "It's in a beautiful valley. A place everybody oughta see!" The name stuck just with a spelling change.
|“|| Whit chose to settle in Odyssey for several reasons. Its relatively small population (approximately 35 000 people) makes it ideal for civic involvement, which was therapeutic for Jenny. Because it is surrounded by farmland, Odyssey has a small-town feel about it, and most folks there still live by the traditional values that often characterize such places. The kids, of course, make every effort to appear as cool as can be, despite their basically rural roots. And, yet, it's close enough to a major metropolitan area (about 150 miles away) for a family to take advantage of the cultural opportunities offered by a large city, should they choose to do so.
Odyssey also has cultural advantages of its own. It has a fully-accredited four-year college, supplying degree programs in 30 different fields. There is also a well-supported civic center that boasts a 350-seat theater and a 1 500-seat music hall. An amateur theater troupe performs four or five full-scale productions per year, and a variety of traveling orchestras and musical groups make the town one of their stops when touring through the Midwest.
Odyssey is also no slouch when it comes to economy. While agriculture is a major industry in the area, there are also more than a few industrial and manufacturing plants in town. Some of these include Odyssey Automotive (the largest manufacturer of turn-signal flasher units in America), Commark Corporation (a marketing communications firm), and Valmar, Inc. (a company that makes both electronic and manually-operated occupational "games" that test an employee's mental and physical dexterity).
The town also has a fairly large shopping mall with all of the usual department stores and specialty shops. And there are a number of small but lucrative businesses scattered throughout the community, such as restaurants, assorted clothing and hardware stores, movie theaters and, of course, an unusual place called "Whit's End."
Though the town has been referenced as being in the Midwest and confirmed to be in Ohio by the original Family Portraits series, the radio station operating within Whit's End is given the call letters KYDS and KODY. In actuality, call letters prefixed with the letter K are reserved for stations based on the west side of the Mississippi River. However, a radio station in Philadelphia, PA has the call letters KYW, so this may not apply to Odyssey (then again, what does?!)
Places in Odyssey
- Main article: Organizations in Odyssey
The majority of Adventures in Odyssey episodes take place in the town of Odyssey, most commonly at the popular ice cream shop "Whit's End".