Maycomb is a fictional town in Alabama. In the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Maycomb is the primary setting. Maycomb is a small town where traditions are strong. People in the town are either white or black, and they live in separate parts of Maycomb. Many families have lived in Maycomb for generations.
The courthouse is located in Maycomb. It once partially burned in 1856, but it was rebuilt. The Maycomb Tribune is the local newspaper, run by Mr. Underwood. Farming and agriculture are important industries in the area. The town itself is full of small shops and other business establishments, such as the bank and the hardware store. The town is full of churches.
Traditions are important in Maycomb. On Sundays, people go to church and then visit one another. Being neighborly is valued, but gossip spreads quickly when someone behaves in an unfavorable way.
Watching a trial is a form of entertainment in the town. There is little else to do in ways of entertainment in Maycomb. Young people sometimes get into trouble due to boredom.
The following are quotes about the history and culture of Maycomb. Some of them are larger quotes, which can be broken up into smaller ones if you need close to 30:
Maycomb, some twenty miles east of Finch's Landing, was the county seat of Maycomb County. Atticus's office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. His first two clients were the last two persons hanged in the Maycomb County jail.
[Atticus] liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred; he knew his people, they knew him, and because of Simon Finch’s industry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town.
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square.
People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.
The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. They did not go to church, Maycomb's principal recreation, but worshiped at home; Mrs. Radley seldom if ever crossed the street for a mid-morning coffee break with her neighbors, and certainly never joined a missionary circle.
Maycomb was an ancient town. It was twenty miles east of Finch's Landing, awkwardly inland for such an old town. But Maycomb would have been closer to the river had it not been for the nimble-wittedness of one Sinkfield, who in the dawn of history operated an inn where two pig-trails met, the only tavern in the territory. Sinkfield, no patriot, served and supplied ammunition to Indians and settlers alike, neither knowing or caring whether he was a part of the Alabama Territory or the Creek Nation so long as business was good. Business was excellent when Governor William Wyatt Bibb, with a view to promoting the newly created county’s domestic tranquility, dispatched a team of surveyors to locate its exact center and there establish its seat of government. The surveyors, Sinkfield’s guests, told their host that he was in the territorial confines of Maycomb County, and showed him the probable spot where the county seat would be built. Had not Sinkfield made a bold stroke to preserve his holdings, Maycomb would have sat in the middle of Winston Swamp, a place totally devoid of interest. Instead, Maycomb grew and sprawled out from its hub, Sinkfield's Tavern, because Sinkfield reduced his guests to myopic drunkenness one evening, induced them to bring forward their maps and charts, lop off a little here, add a bit there, and adjust the center of the county to meet his requirements.
Because its primary reason for existence was government, Maycomb was spared the grubbiness that distinguished most Alabama towns its size. In the beginning its buildings were solid, its courthouse proud, its streets graciously wide. Maycomb's proportion of professional people ran high: one went there to have his teeth pulled, his wagon fixed, his heart listened to, his money deposited, his soul saved, his mules vetted.
Although Maycomb was ignored during the War Between the States, Reconstruction rule and economic ruin forced the town to grow. It grew inward. New people so rarely settled there, the same families married the same families until the members of the community looked faintly alike. Occasionally someone would return from Montgomery or Mobile with an outsider, but the result caused only a ripple in the quiet stream of family resemblance. Things were more or less the same during my early years.
The Maycomb jail was the most venerable and hideous of the county's buildings... Starkly out of place in a town of square-faced stores and steep-roofed houses, the Maycomb jail was a miniature Gothic joke one cell wide and two cells high, complete with tiny battlements and flying buttresses. Its fantasy was heightened by its red brick facade and the thick steel bars at its ecclesiastical windows. It stood on no lonely hill, but was wedged between Tyndal's Hardware Store and The Maycomb Tribune office.
The Maycomb County courthouse was faintly reminiscent of Arlington in one respect: the concrete pillars supporting its south roof were too heavy for their light burden. The pillars were all that remained standing when the original courthouse burned in 1856. Another courthouse was built around them. It is better to say, built in spite of them. But for the south porch, the Maycomb County courthouse was early Victorian, presenting an unoffensive vista when seen from the north. From the other side, however, Greek revival columns clashed with a big nineteenth-century clock tower housing a rusty unreliable instrument, a view indicating a people determined to preserve every physical scrap of the past.
I'll be happy to provide you with a few quotes about Maycomb. Scout describes Maycomb as a town whose streets turned to "red slop" in rainy weather and where people and dogs suffered from the summer heat.
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. (Chapter 1)
To Scout, there was nothing beyond the county limits, and at no time during the story does she venture outside Maycomb County.
There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. (Chapter 1)
The town jail was a tiny, two-story building that was just "one cell wide and two cells high." It was here that Atticus stood guard against the lynch mob when they came for Tom.
The Maycomb County jail was the most venerable and hideous of the county's buildings... a miniature Gothic joke... complete with tiny battlements and flying buttresses. (Chapter 15)
The Tom Robinson trial was the biggest event to hit Maycomb in years, but Tom's death was only news for a short while.
Maycomb was interested in the news of Tom's death for perhaps two days; two days was enough for the news to spread through the county... To Maycomb, Tom's death was typical. Typical of a nigger to cut and run... to have no plan, no thought for the future. (Chapter 25)