2017-10-07 / Community Life

‘Judy Bolton Days’ continue today

People from several states are in Potter County this weekend for the Judy Bolton Days, celebrating the writings of Margaret Sutton, who authored a famous series of detective stories with special appeal to young girls.

Her books about the fictional character Judy Bolton -- many of them based on Potter County landmarks and historic events -- have captivated readers and collectors for decades.

Fans of the late author and her book series are headquartered at the Millstream Inn for the 27th annual reunion.

Margaret Sutton (1903-2001) was born Rachel Beebe and raised in Odin and Coudersport. Her Judy Bolton collection is the longest-lasting juvenile series written by a single author.

The series has endured because of the author’s ability to weave into the adventure stories elements of allegory, social commentary and other engaging themes. A half-century ago, the books enjoyed national popularity and the lead character was a role model to countless young girls.

Judy would mature as a character as the series evolved. More than 5 million books were sold.

Many Phantom Friends remain fiercely protective of the Judy Bolton series and believe the Nancy Drew books lack the lyrical writing style and deeper content of Sutton’s work. More information is available on the internet at judybolton.com.

Phantom Friends will be busy on Saturday from 9 am to 3:30, starting with a visit to Sutton’s birth home at Dry Brook Hollow in Odin, guided by Peg and John Rotello. Also on Saturday’s itinerary, Marge Green and her son Steve will welcome the visitors to their Southwoods Farm Nature Preserve.

The Greens’ iconic pond was the setting and featured on the cover of one of Margaret Sutton’s books, “The Puzzle in the Pond.” The home’s staircase is depicted on the cover of “The Black Cat’s Clue.” Sutton spent much time at the farm, where her two bright, hardy pioneer aunts, Gladys and Marjorie Beebe, lived for years without electricity or running water.

After dinner, participants will gather back at the Millstream Inn at 8 pm for a reception and trivia contest.

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