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Visit the “Reel” Bill Gillespie House from In the Heat of the Night

bill gillespie houseIn the Heat of the Night has remained a popular television show with some of the greatest fans around. This intrepid group of fans still visits Covington, Georgia to tour the filming sites of their favorite show. There’s one particular location that incites extraordinary excitement for Heat fans; the Bill Gillespie House.

Chief Bill Gillespie was the Chief of Police in Sparta and is one of the most important characters from In the Heat of the Night. Played by the incomparable Carroll O’Connor (who also wrote for the show, under the name Matt Harris), Gillespie 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.

bill gillespie houseYou can still visit the Chief’s house, located on Monticello St. The home is a two-story 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, from the sidewalk in front. Stay tuned though, because there may be a few limited opportunities to tour the first floor and backyard of the property. 

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

bill gillespie houseIn the Heat of the Night became a legendary show, because of the glimpses into the lives of southern men and women, and the challenges that law enforcement faces every day. Fans of In the Heat of the Night can still tour Covington, Georgia and celebrate its illustrious history.  You’ll have to make sure to see the Gillespie House, one of Covington’s “Reel” houses!  If you are looking to spend the weekend touring some of Covington's filming locations, you can use this easy link! This link will help you book a room in one of Covington's best hotels, like our brand new Holiday-Inn! 

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