- For other uses, see Whit's End (disambiguation).
Whit's End is a Victorian house and ice cream parlor at the centerpiece of the radio series Adventures in Odyssey, founded, owned, and operated by John Whittaker. Its name is a pun reflecting Whittaker's nickname. Whit's End has faced competition from rival businesses Dairy Dream, Blackgaard's Castle, and the Novacom Kids Center.
|“||Back in the beginning, the idea of Whit's End was that it was like Snoopy's doghouse: you almost never really knew what was in there and how far it went. And we actually want to maintain that there are any number of rooms, and contraptions, and inventions, and secret passages that show up as we have need.||”|
In Welcome to Whit's End when John Whittaker was asked what kind of place Whit's End is he replied
|“||Well I like to call it an old fashioned discovery emporium.||”|
Whittaker further elaborated that
|“||It's a place of adventure, excitement, filled with books and activities, fun and games, arts and crafts, and uplifting conversation. But most of all its a place where kids of all ages can just be kids.||”|
The history of the building Whit's End now occupies has been explored in numerous AIO episodes, and plays a significant role in several episodes, as well.
Originally, Odyssey's church stood where Whit's End now lies. In 1850, Higgam McAlister owned the property the church stood on and had Odyssey's first telegraph line installed there. On the day it was to become operational, Higgam's body was found at the bottom of a cliff on Forest Mountain (#168: “The Curse”).
The property consisted of the main church building with a tower, the rectory, and a tunnel going from the basement of the rectory out into the woods. The building was part of the Underground Railroad, operated by Reverend Andrew Jamison. He lived in the rectory, beside the church and built a second tunnel from the rectory to the church. He knew about the mineral (later used in TA-418), which he learned about from the natives, who called it "The Silent One". (#316: “The Underground Railroad, Part 3”, #331: “Checkmate”, #332: “Another Chance”)
Both the church rectory and the church itself were burned down at separate times during the 1850s. The rectory burned to the ground at the hands of Nathan, a slave owner trying to smoke out his former slave William Ross. The majority of the church was burned down by a mob in following years — all except the church tower, which would remain intact. After both the rectory and church were destroyed, both tunnels now led to the woods. (#316: “The Underground Railroad, Part 3”, Freedom Run)
Fillmore Recreation Center
The land on which Whit's End stands was later given by the McAlister family over to the city to create McAlister Park, on the condition that the land would always be used to glorify God, and that it could never be sold. If these conditions were broken, the land ownership would revert back to the McAlister family (#637: “The Forgotten Deed”).
The building which is now Whit's End was designed by Lyle Architects, and commissioned by the mayor sometime between the fire and 1910. It was modeled after the Tate House (the house of Thaddeus Tate, a wealthy railroad developer on the edge of town) because the building was on the edge of McAlister Park, and a house would look better than an institutional building in such a setting. The building became the Fillmore Recreation Center for years, interrupted only briefly when the mayor lived in the building for 4 years sometime closely after 1946. After this, it was continuously the Fillmore up until it became Whit's End (#244 – #245: “The Mysterious Stranger”).
In 1910, Alman McAlister installed Odyssey's first telephone switchboard in the Fillmore Center. He died that day from falling off the top of a flagpole (#168: “The Curse”).
Henri LeMonde was a wealthy missionary and eccentric treasure hider who hid a secret room containing clues to his last great treasure in the attic of the church tower around the turn of the 19th Century. The room would only open when the notes A-D-E-A-F-C-A-B-B-A-G-E were played in the centre of the middle keyboard of the pipe organ in the attic. Years later, treasure hunter Rufus Cowley was arrested in the tower while looking for the treasure of LeMonde. He wrote a clue as to how to open the secret room, and hid it in the Middle C pipe of the organ. The clue remained undiscovered until it was found by Robyn Jacobs in 1990 (#102: “The Treasure of LeMonde!”).
In 1921, Thomas Newcastle buried a box that contained incriminating evidence of his accidental shooting of Dwayne Oswald's ancestor on the grounds behind the recreation center. The box would be discovered and then re-buried there sans its original contents by Dwayne, Jared DeWhite, Whit and Eugene Meltsner in 1998 (#414: “Buried Sin”).
From the 1930s to the 1950s, the Fillmore ran Odyssey's only radio station out of one of the upstairs rooms (#36: “Kids' Radio”).
In 1946, Spencer Barfield worked as a janitor at the Fillmore. He was murdered in the basement by Alfred Myers on June 2nd, 1946, or shortly afterwards, when he saw Myers hiding a stolen $25,000 in the basement. Myers hid the body (along with the money) in a back room, then covered the door with a cabinet. The room, the body and the money were all undiscovered until 1988 (#39: “The Case of the Secret Room, Part 1”).
After the Fillmore closed down, city councilman Philip Glossman tried to sell the property, with the highest bid resting at $3 million, to the Webster Development Firm. It was later revealed that this was Dr. Regis Blackgaard, who was likely being assisted by Glossman in trying to attain the mineral under the building. Ultimately, however, Mr. Whittaker bought Whit's End on behalf of the Universal Press Foundation for 3.5 million dollars. The goals for Whit's End were established by Whit's late wife Jenny:
|“||Whit's End is designed to be a place of discovery and adventure, filled with books and activities, arts and crafts, and uplifting conversation. But most of all, it is a place where kids of all ages can just be kids.||”|
An extended version of the speech was revealed in episode #637: “The Forgotten Deed”:
|“||Whit’s End will be an ice cream shop and discovery emporium. It will have a soda fountain, a museum, a well-stocked library, a theater. It will be a place of faith, imagination, adventure, and discovery, where the joy of learning will be found in everything we do. It will be a place where the Bible will come alive for all who enter. It will be a place where kids will learn respect for one another, and for their parents, and for all in authority over them; a place where kids will engage in uplifting and wholesome conversation; a place with character building activities; a place filled with constructive fun, games, arts, and crafts. But most of all it will be a place where kids of all ages can just be kids.||”|
Having been been covered in dirt since the 1850s, the two underground tunnels beneath Whit's End were finally found and unearthed by Jack Allen and Carl Ross (William's descendant) in 1996. One of these tunnels was collapsed soon afterward, however, by Blackgaard in an explosion which caused minimal long-term damage to the rest of Whit's End (#334: “The Final Conflict”).
Later in the same year, the city almost violated the original agreement with the McAlister family's sale of the land. Because of the Separation of Church and State debate going on at the time, the city decided to cede McAlister Park back to the McAlister family — who subsequently sold the property to the Universal Press Foundation for the price of $1 (#637: “The Forgotten Deed”).
Although this floor-plan appeared in The Complete Guide, it is made clear in the guide and from the producers on various occasions that this is only one interpretation of the building, it is not necessarily canonical or complete. This is especially a valid point when considering the description of Whit's End given in #244: “The Mysterious Stranger, Part 1” multi-part episode, where a servant staircase near the kitchen is mentioned several times as a key plot element. There is also an extensive basement which includes a secret room (#39: “The Case of the Secret Room, Part 1”), tunnel to the woods in McAlister Park, a workshop, scary pipe noises (#10: “Nothing to Fear”), and a buried time capsule.
- Whit's office
- Computer room
- The Library
- Bibles Library (#64: The Greatest of These)
- Bible Room
- Little Theater
- Whit's workshop
- Secret room in the Basement (location of the skeletal remains of Spencer Barfield)
- Secret Attic (location of the first clue to the treasure of Henri LeMonde)
- Secret room in secret attic (location of LeMonde's journal)
- Kids' Radio studio
- Train Room
- Inventors' Corner
- Servant Staircase
- A sound proof video game room, only mentioned in #296: “Red Wagons and Pink Flamingos”.
- Treasure Room
- The shop is located two miles away from Trickle Lake (#513: “Do or Diet”)
- The shop is within walking distance of Odyssey General Hospital (#50: “Karen”)
- The shop is an exerting walk from The Electric Palace (formerly Blackgaard's Castle) (#83: “The Battle, Part 1”)
- The shop is located several blocks away from Mizzy's Fabric Shop (#372: “For Whom The Wedding Bells Toll, Part 1”)
- It is 1,558 feet above sea level (#748: “The Perfect Gift”)
- The building exterior is multicolored (#30: “Honor Thy Parents”)
- The building includes a back patio (#588: “Broken-Armed and Dangerous”)
- A service road originating from the rear of McAlister Park leads to the building (#333: “The Last Resort”)
- Caroline Ross is buried somewhere on the grounds of the property, having died and been buried by her husband Henry Ross and Reverend Andrew Jamison in 1850 (#316: “The Underground Railroad, Part 3”)
- The main entrance is ADA-accessible. (#16: “No Stupid Questions”, #319: “A Touch of Healing, Part 2”)
- There is a stained glass decoration above the kitchen door. (#244: “The Mysterious Stranger, Part 1”)
- The building features a rear entrance that leads to the kitchen, used often by employees but not widely known to the public. (#194: “A License to Drive”, #332: “Another Chance”)
- The building has a back patio large enough to host a birthday party. (#588: “Broken-Armed and Dangerous”)
- There are bathrooms on the first and second floors. (#605: “The Chosen One, Part 1”)
- The building has an elevator. (#299: “The Truth About Zachary”)
- A silent alarm that can be seen flashing from outside the building has been installed to alert police to an intruder (#169: “Hold Up!”, #564: “A Most Intriguing Question”)
- The interior is wired with an intercom system and a paging system (#232: “Thy Kingdom Come”, #208: “Pipe Dreams”, #322: “The Turning Point”, #327: “Moving Targets”, #616: “The Other Side of the Glass, Part 1”)
- Security cameras and motion-sensing microphones are installed throughout the building (#481: “Grand Opening, Part 1”, #548: “Sounds Like a Mystery”)
- At least one of the landline phones lacks a redial button (#595: “A Time for Action, Part 2”)
List of Inventions
- Main article: List of Inventions
Known Menu Items
- Cheese Burger
- Chocolate Turnover
- Apple Turnover (#128: “One Bad Apple”)
- Carmel Apple (#128: “One Bad Apple”)
- Lemonade (multiple, including #249: “The Case of the Delinquent Disciples”)
- Banana Split
- Banana Fruit Split
- Root beer floats
- Kiddie Orange (#488: “Under the Influence, Part 1”)
- Hot Chocolate
- Whittaker special double-decker sundae (mentioned in #135: “Back to Bethlehem, Part 1”)
- Nut Above the Rest Sundae (#556: “And That's the Truth”
- Root Beer
- Wod-Fam-Choc-Sod (World Famous Chocolate Soda)
- Loc-Kno-Stra-Mal (Locally Known Strawberry Malt)
- Double Raspberry Delight Shake (mentioned in “Three O’Clock Call”)
- Double Fudge Shake (mentioned in “Connie Comes to Town”)
- Jellybean Fruit Shake (noted in the second official guide)
- Marshmallow Mountain Milkshake (mentioned in #592: “Now More Than Ever”)
- Banana Milkshake Surprise (mentioned in #488: “Under the Influence, Part 1”)
- Raspberry Ripple
- Chocolate Ripple
- Vanilla Fudge Ripple
- Peanut Butter
- Lime Sorbet
- Orange Sorbet
- Rocky Road
- Strawberry Mocha Cream
- Pistachio Mocha Crunch
- Cappuccino Mocha Jamocha
- Peanut-Butter & Banana
- Green Bean & Radish
- Fudge Marble
- Mint Chocolate
- Butter Pecan
- Black Cherry
- Banana Pudding
- White Chocolate Chip
- Choca Mocha Chocolate Chunk
- There are 28 in all (1 unknown), all available in the ice cream skyscraper.
- Connie Kendall Soda jerk and radio host.
- Eugene Meltsner Computer programming engineer.
- Jules Kendall Soda Jerk.
- Renee Carter Intern. (AIO Club only)
- Luella Custodian, volunteer
- Emma Douglas
- Jimmy Custodian and soda jerk.
- Julie Myers Soda Jerk.
- Ernie Myers Handyman, soda jerk, custodian.
- Jason Whittaker Manager.
- Jack Allen Soda jerk.
- Nick Mulligan Soda jerk.
- Aubrey Shepard Soda jerk.
- Lindsey Intern.
Whit's End Connellsville
- Main article: Whit's End (Connellsville)
The W. E.
The W.E.is not a separate place apart from Whit's End at all. It is Whit's End, but was temporarily revamped with new ideas. Whit eventually undid the W.E. and restored the original Whit's End because he felt the W.E. was more about gadgets than what it should be about - people.
- Climbing Wall (Nick Mulligan)
- Skateboarding park (Nick)
- Virtual Shopping (Liz Horton)
- Sped Up Imagination Station (Nathaniel Graham)
- Astronomically Correct Planetarium (Eugene Meltsner)
- Ice cream flavors that appeal to a bigger demographic (eg. Coffee cones for adults; cotton candy for kids; and carrot cones for vegetarians)
- The woods behind The W.E. to become a candy cane forest (Bethany Shepard)
- Computerized at-table ordering (Nick speaking to Nathaniel)
In real life
There is a real life restaurant in Colorado Springs based on the fictional location.
In Family Portraits, Whit's End is a bookstore/coffee shop/conversation house rather than an ice cream shop/library/discovery emporium/conversation house.
Whit's End as seen from Checkmate
Video series exterior, with the Strata-flyer exiting
Video series exterior, during winter (Electric Christmas)