‘Reacher’: Is Margrave, Georgia a Real Place?

The new Amazon Prime Video series, Reacher, is set in a small southern town that feels like a character itself. And after seeing the iconic hero’s adventure, some fans wonder if Margrave, Georgia is a real place. 

In ‘Reacher,’ Margrave, GA is a character itself

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher in 'Reacher'
Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher in ‘Reacher’ | Amazon Studios

Based on author Lee Child’s debut 1997 novel Killing Floor, Reacher tells the story of former Army major and investigator Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson). After talking to his brother about American blues singer Blind Blake, Reacher takes a bus to Margrave, Georgia, to visit the music legend’s place of death. 

But upon his arrival, Reacher is suspected of murder and arrested by local police. He soon learns he’s connected to the murder and vows to find out who’s behind it. 

On the show, Margrave feels like a character in itself. Founded in 1794, it’s a small town in the south. And with a population of just 1,200, the 6-foot 5-inch hero stands out like a sore thumb. 

It’s a generational town where everyone knows each other. And by the end of the first episode, it’s clear that word travels super fast in the tight-knit community. 

Margrave’s economic strife also plays a significant part in the story. Its mass corruption and coverup culture ultimately lead to the string of murders Reacher is trying to solve.

But the Margrave isn’t a real place

Margrave, GA certainly sounds like it could be a real place, but it’s not. It’s a fictional town created by Child for his 1997 Jack Reacher book. It only appears in that one novel as a starting point for the hero’s literary adventures. 

However, Blind Blake, the musician who brings Reacher to the sleepy town, is real. Blake was a reportedly visually impaired guitarist and vocalist known for his music in the late 1920s and early 1930s. 

On the show, Blake is said to have died in Margrave. However, in reality, the blues musician died in Wisconsin of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1934.

‘Reacher’ created Margrave, GA in a cornfield

To create the small southern town, Reacher showrunners went to Ontario, Canada, which now serves as a hub for dozens of Hollywood productions, including Riverdale and Titans. And according to series star Alan Ritchson, they built the set for Margrave from the ground up in a Canadian cornfield. 

 “Ok, I’m gonna tell you a secret I might get killed for,” Ritchson wrote in a tweet. “Margrave was built in a cornfield. The entire town. Margrave is the Field of Dreams of sets.”

But according to Atlas of Wonders, there were some real locations used on the show. The Salvation Army Thrift Store seen on the series is real and is located on 82 Mill St. in Georgetown, Ontario. 

The prison Reacher ends up in is Ontario’s Kingston Penitentiary. And the restaurants and motels that the character visits are locations in and around Ontario’s Port Perry.

Reacher Season 1 is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 

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