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Elwood City

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Elwood City
Elwood City from above.png
Location United States
Type City
Administrator Mayor Hirsch
Residents 79,567[1][citation needed]
First appearance Arthur's Nose (books)
"Arthur's Eyes" (TV series)

Elwood City is the main setting of the Arthur television series, books, and related media.

Originally founded in the early 1900s from a swampy lumber town, Elwood City has since grown to a population of 60,000 people. The metro area is home to a number of businesses, attractions and festivals, all of which serve the community and its people.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, 1885[edit]

Sitting Bull performing in Elwood City, circa 1885.

In 1885, Buffalo Bill and Lakota chief Sitting Bull visited present-day Elwood City to perform for local crowds. The show was in affiliation with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which toured the country at the time. The show took place on the banks of Mill Creek, near a tree which still stands today on the edge of the Mill Creek Mall parking lot.[3]

Official Founding, 1903[edit]

Elwood City prospered decades before 1903 as a logging town. The first saw mill was built on the banks of Bear Lake under the supervision of Jacob Katzenellenbogan. In 1903, an infirm Katzenellenbogan attended the official declaration of Elwood City's incorporation. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the area known as Elwood an official city. Prominent businessmen of time, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan were credited for transforming 50-acres of swampland into a thriving lumber town. They donated a statue in honor of the city's founder, but Katzenellenbogan did not appreciate the generous contribution, simply because he intended for the city's name to be Elmwood. It was never changed, therefore the name stuck since that day. His last name was also misspelled on the plaque under the statue. With the industrialization of the area, the green-tailed grebe eventually became extinct,[4] though recent sightings have been rumored.[5]

Grebes Established, 1918[edit]

The Elwood City Grebes have been established and win the World Championship Series.[6]

The Read Family, 1920-30s[edit]

The Read Family has lived in Elwood City with for a long period of time. Grandma Thora was born in Elwood City, attended Elwood City High School, and gave birth to 3 kids, one of them being David Read, the father of Arthur Read.

Possible Alien Sighting, 1952[edit]

In the summer of 1952, a family taking a peaceful countryside drive near Elwood City encountered a strange sight, which was thought to have been an extraterrestrial spacecraft.[4]

Lakewood Elementary Founded[edit]

In the 1950s, Lakewood Elementary School was built.[citation needed]

Centennial, 2003[edit]

Elwood City celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003. The students of Lakewood Elementary School were chosen to put on a musical play in commemoration. Celebrity guests with connections to Elwood City were in attendance.

Other historical events[edit]

A large dinosaur skeleton from the Mesozoic era was accidentally discovered at the groundbreaking for the city's recycling center.[3] Other dinosaur fossils have been found at nearby Rainbow Rock State Park.[7]

There was an Indian trading post at the current site of the football field. Lenape Indians would swap furs for pots, pans and clothes.[3]


Elwood City is a culturally diverse city with many aspects to the way of life of main characters. This page describes way of life and things to do in Elwood City.

Entertainment and Performing Arts[edit]

Elwood City has much prominence in the Arts.


The mountainous terrain of the region.

The geographic area of Elwood City consists of mountains to the north, Moose Mountain the south, Bear Lake and Button Island to the west, and farmland to the east. The city itself is located in the formerly swampy valley between the mountainous areas. The city is in an area affected by tropical weather, as at least two hurricanes have impacted the region,[8][9] but all four seasons are experienced throughout the year.[10][11][12][13]

The exact whereabouts of the city have never been explicitly stated, though it is generally considered to be in eastern North America.

Evidence for American location[edit]

Many places in Elwood City are a reference to locations in the Eastern United States.

  • The series contains many references to a President, but Canada is headed by a Prime Minister.
  • In "Based on a True Story," Ladonna Compson states that the drive from Louisiana to Elwood City is 16 hours long. That would mean Elwood City maybe in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and possibly southwestern Pennsylvania or northwest Pennsylvania if they lived in the eastern or northern Louisiana.
  • Mill Creek Mall is a reference to Millcreek Mall in Pennsylvania, where Marc Brown was raised.

Evidence for Canadian location[edit]

There are various references throughout the series to a Canadian location. 

  • In "The Good, the Bad, and the Binky," a five dollar bill given to Binky is blue and a twenty given to him is green, characteristics of Canadian paper money.
  • Oftentimes, Canadian flags can be spotted in the background of Mr. Ratburn's classroom.
  • In "The Secret Origin of Supernova", the comic book convention is in Durham Region, which is in southern Ontario.
Map of Montreal, Quebec.
Map of Elwood City.

The map of the Elwood City-Crown city region strongly resembles that of the Canadian city of Montreal, Quebec




There are at least fifteen schools in Elwood City,[3] but only seven have been identified by name.

  • Lakewood Elementary School: The school that Arthur and his friends attend. The interior includes offices, classrooms, a cafeteria, gymnasium, and a detention room only seen in the early seasons. Outside of the school there is a playground with a jungle gym that is "claimed" by the Tough Customers. There is also a baseball field, where games such as Lakewood vs. Mighty Mountain and 3rd Graders vs. 4th Graders are held.
  • Mighty Mountain Elementary School: Rivals to Lakewood. Several Tough Customers went here before transferring to Lakewood. The school building is seen in the episode April 9th.
  • Glenbrook Academy: A private school that Mr. Ratburn attended as a child. They went up against Lakewood in a medieval fair.[25]
  • Elwood City Preschool: A local preschool that D.W. attends with her friends. Her class is taught by Miss Morgan, the only known teacher. There is also a three-year-old class.[26]
  • Elwood City High School: Is or was a high school in Elwood City. Carl Manino and Thora Read attended it back in the 1950s.
  • PS 22: A school in Elwood City that is mentioned in "Home Sweet Home" by both Irwin and Sanjeev. It's unknown where the school is as it is never seen or mentioned again.
  • Estabrook: An elementary school. Not much is known about it, as its only appearance was when its soccer team faced against Lakewood's in "The Big Blow-Up". In fact, its name is only mentioned at all in the novelization of the episode.



  • Reads' House: A yellow Cape Cod-esque house with a green roof and two dormers where Arthur and his family reside. He has his room to himself in the right dormer, but D.W. and Kate share a room in the left dormer. They also own a pet dog named Pal. Its address is 562 Main Street.
  • Mr. Ratburn's House: A yellow house with a green roof, a brown front door, a green garage door, and green window shutters. Arthur's third grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, resides there independently, although it is rarely seen.
  • Molinas' House: A purple house located right next door to the Read's house. Vicita and her family reside there. They also own a pet dog named Amigo. It was formerly owned by Susy Sipple from the books and early seasons, until the Molina family from Ecuador acquired it shortly after Susy moved out.[28]
  • Dattilos' House: A white house with light blue accents and a yellow front door. A blind girl named Marina and her mother reside there, and it is close to her best friend Prunella's house.
  • Barneses' House: A yellow house with a blue roof where Binky and his parents, and the newly adopted Mei-Lin reside.
  • Deegans' House: A pinkish-orange house with a purple roof where Prunella, her sister Rubella, and their mother Wanda reside.
  • Armstrongs' House : A gray house with a front porch with a balcony above it, an orange roof, a yellow front door with orange accents, and a green garage door. Sue Ellen and her parents reside there, and were one of the most recent families that moved to Elwood City.
  • Walterses' House: A white house with blue accents and a gray roof where Fern and her parents reside.
  • Lundgrens' House: A white house with brown accents, a gray roof, and a front porch. This is the house where George and his family reside.
  • Tibbles' house: A large pink house with a dark red roof and a cupola. The twins Tommy and Timmy Tibble reside with their grandmother Mrs. Tibble there, and also own a pet black cat. It is a few blocks from the Reads' house.
  • Crosswires' Mansion: A lavender and yellow mansion with a bluish-green roof, brown front doors, and a balcony above the front doors. It has twenty rooms, a colossal yard, and a swimming pool. It is the largest residence in town. Muffy and her family reside there, although her family is very small and she has only one brother, Chip. Their chauffeur and butler, Bailey, also lives there.
  • Westboro Apartments: A campus of apartment complexes owned by landlord Mr. Sanders. Francine and her family reside in Apartment #3 in the red complex. Like D.W. and Kate, Francine and Catherine share a room too. They also own a pet cat named Nemo. Another resident named Mrs. Pariso lives in Apartment #4 right next to the Frenskys, after she moved there in Francine Goes to War.
  • Powerses' House: A yellow house with a reddish-orange roof, two purple front doors, and a purple garage door where the Brain and his parents reside.
  • Elwood City Condominiums: A yellow condominium complex with a red roof, balconies, and porches. Buster and his mother Bitzi reside in one of the units, and Buster's Grandmother resides in another one.
  • Tree House: A private place inside a wooden structure built at the treetops above the tree trunk where Arthur and his friends hang out when doing homework, reading books, and spending time together; often done in peace and away from D.W. and her friends around her age. It is located next to the Mill Creek. The roof caved in from snow, but it was later fixed.[29]
  • MacDonalds' House: Where Molly and her family reside.
  • Morgans' House: Where Jenna and her parents live.
  • Compsons' House: A tan house where Ladonna and her family live in after moving from Louisiana.
  • Shady Pines Retirement Home: A senior living community, where Fritz Langley lives.


  • In "Rhyme for Your Life," Binky describes himself as the "best poet in Elwood City." It is unknown if he still holds that position.
  • Various animals populate the city itself. Some animals in this city are in anthropomorphic form and some are in realistic animal form. For example, Arthur has a pet dog, Pal, and two friends who are dogs, Binky and Fern.
  • While Elwood City is established as being in the United States, it's never explicitly confirmed where in the United States it is--though it's likely somewhere in the northern United States, since Elwood City always seems to get a ton of snow whenever there's a winter-themed episode.
  • As shown in "Postcards from Buster," Elwood City is far enough away from New York City where Buster and the Read family end up having to fly there.

Panoramic images[edit]