Mayberry's famous lake appeared in all these TV shows, movies and album covers
Smack dab in the geological center of Los Angeles is Franklin Canyon Park, where you'll find a lake that any fan who can whistle The Andy Griffith Show theme song would recognize.
In the real world, the lake is called Franklin Lake, but when Andy and Opie Taylor took Aunt Bee there in the show's first episode, the family referred to it as Myers Lake, as it was always known on the show (and later on Matlock).
Now you know, they're one and the same place. Did you also know that Opie wasn't the only classic TV character to dip his line into Franklin Lake? That particular body of water is one of the most visible lakes on TV in the 1960s, setting rural scenes in Bonanza one day, then providing out-of-this-world landscapes for Star Trek the next.
Watch the video above to see the Mayberry fishing hole appear on classic TV shows through the 1960s, including The Brady Bunch, Green Acres, The Rifleman and Mannix. In it, you'll see the Bradys camping out, Lisa Douglas dumping out champagne and even Bonanza's Hoss walking with a young boy along the lake, just like The Andy Griffith Show's opening credits.
Beyond TV, Franklin Lake also frequently made a splash on the big screen. It served as the lagoon in The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its rural roads were featured in that famous hitchhiking scene from It Happened One Night, where Claudette Colbert surprised audiences by sticking her leg out to hail a ride.
Those roads also led to Freddy Krueger's first Nightmare. As if that wasn't enough to confuse you about this lake's vibe, Franklin Canyon's river and lake also set romantic scenes for Prince's musical drama Purple Rain.
Find an exhaustive list of Franklin Canyon movie appearances here.
Go even further in pop history and you'll see the lake inspired more tunes than Andy's whistling theme. Simon and Garfunkel headed to Franklin Canyon to shoot the cover of Sounds of Silence, which features the musical duo on a path to Franklin Lake. And the Rolling Stones picked the same spot when they needed a U.S. cover. For their first compilation album Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), Mick and his crew lined up along a rocky shore in Franklin Canyon.
It makes sense when you learn both bands shared the same photographer, Guy Webster, who famously shot the debut album covers for the Doors and the Mamas and the Papas. The Stones would tap him again to shoot the cover of the next year's studio album Aftermath. (All those covers had a lot less lake, though Mama Cass' band shot theirs in a bathtub.)
It's a lot to take in once you realize how much you've frequented this particular watering hole through movies, music and TV. It also makes it kind of hard to see that simple opening sequence to The Andy Griffith Show the same way. If only Andy and Opie knew how many big fish flocked to Mayberry's favorite pond!