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Chief Bill Gillespie’s House: A Trip Down Memory Lane

bill gillespieWe're still in awe over this year's In The Heat of the Night reunion. From meeting our favorite characters, to embracing old friends, that evening was simply magical. We just can't get it off of our minds. So, we decided to continue this trip down memory lane, with a quick trip to Chief Bill Gillespie's house! It's still right here in Covington, which is super convenient!

In the Heat of the Night was an extraordinary achievement for Covington, Georgia. The entire town was transformed into fictional Sparta, Mississippi for six years while the cast and crew worked their filming magic. The show would run for seven seasons and would inspire 4 made-for-television movies. Because of the incredible amount of work that went into creating this show, Covington has become a walking “museums” of sorts. Visitors can tour all of their favorite filming locations, like the Covington Square and the Newton County Library aka Sparta’s Police Station.

bill gillespieBut, the most important character of the show had to be Chief Bill Gillespie. Played by the incomparable Carroll O’Connor (who also wrote for the show, under the name Matt Harris), the Chief of Sparta was a kind but firm man, who led his community with honor. He faced the challenges of Sparta head on, with his loyal coworkers and officers by his side.

You can still visit the Chief’s house, located on Monticello St. The home is a two-storied Colonial, painted yellow, with a small balcony off the upstairs front windows. Unfortunately, you can’t tour the inside of the property because it is a private residence, but the owners will let you take pictures of the front of the house. Did you know that, during filming, the original home that was used burned to the ground? Nothing remained of the former structure, so production spent three months to rebuild the home exactly as it once stood.

In the Heat of the Night became a legendary show, because of glimpse into the lives of southern men and women, and the challenges that law enforcement face every day. Celebrate this great show by visiting the home of Sparta’s favorite son, Chief Bill Gillespie!

 

 

 

 

Bill Gillespie’s House, located on Monticello St.

 

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