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 History and rivalry with Springfield
The city of Shelbyville was founded by Shelbyville Manhattan in 1796, who held the belief that people should be allowed to marry their cousins, a practice fellow explorer and founder of Springfield Jebediah Springfield disallowed. As a result of this disagreement, the two founders and their party split into separate groups, and went their own ways; since that time, the populaces of Springfield and Shelbyville have held a strong rivalry. The feud continues til this day, with a group of Shelbyville kids stealing the Springfield Lemon Tree.
According to Lisa Simpson, Springfield built a mini-mall that was purposely larger than a mini-mall Shelbyville built. In retaliation, Shelbyville spiked the town's water supply, and Springfield ended up burning down Shelbyville's city hall, as part of, in Lisa's words, "another chapter in the pointless rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville." The rivalry is well-known even among outsiders: the town was manipulated by a slick-talking salesman, who convinces the residents of Springfield to spend a large sum of money on a monorail system they do not need, by musing that the idea might be better suited for Shelbyville. (Mayor Quimby quickly tells him that the Springfieldians are twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville, so if he'll just tell them his idea, they'll vote for it.)
According to Abe Simpson, Shelbyville was called "Morganville" during the 1910s, which, he elaborates, was when "Nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em" and men tied onions to their belts, "which was the style at the time".[note 1]
According to Lou, Shelbyville apparently possesses at least one McDonald's fast food restaurant, as he visited it one Friday night.
 "Song of Shelbyville"
The Simpsons once visited Shelbyville and attended a play entitled "Song of Shelbyville". The play featured a parody of Springfieldians as uncultured hicks, and when Lisa objects to this portrayal, the crowd started pointing at the family and made a noise that Marge called "hate-hoots". Springfield then proceeded to build an expensive concert hall in another effort to avoid being outdone by Shelbyville. (This effort, like the monorail, went horribly wrong.)
Landmarks and features of Shelbyville include: its own nuclear power plant, owned by Aristotle Amadopolis; Shelbyville Elementary School; Shelbyville High School (which competes against Springfield High School in student debate competitions); a "Speed-E-Mart" convenience store; local bar Joe's Tavern (where "Fudd Beer" is served, despite having been recalled after a large number of hillbillies went blind); Shelbyville Theater District; and yellow-colored fire hydrants. Most of these features, and the people staffing them, strongly resemble Springfield's (a Scottish female who resembles Groundskeeper Willie works at Shelbyville Elementary, for instance).
Other features include at least one mini-mall, a zoo, a Best Western hotel, a city dump, and natural landmarks Rolling Rock (a giant boulder rolling between two steep cliffs) and Shelbyville Falls, a waterfall.
Shelbyville also has a large monument to the town's founder, Shelbyville Manhattan, similar to Springfield's statue of Jebediah Springfield. However, unlike Springfield's more noble statue, Shelbyville's monument shows the founder with two women, possibly his cousins.
 Suburbs of Shelbyville
Shelbyville's sports teams include the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians (minor league baseball), the Shelbyville Visitors (minor league hockey) and the Shelbyville Sharks (American football). Once a year, the annual "Pigskin Classic" football game is held between the Shelbyville Sharks and Springfield's football team, the Springfield Atoms.
Shelbyville beat out Springfield in the bid for the Olympics, after Springfield's chances for earning it were spoiled by ethnocentric comedy by Bart Simpson. Springfield's little league baseball team, the Iso-Tots, was once beaten in a championship by Shelbyville's team.
The people of Shelbyville are not much smarter or less quick to anger than the people of Springfield. On some occasions, Shelbyville has been shown as the more culturally sophisticated of the two cities with a better public school system and hospital, demonstrated by Abe Simpson saying "I'm going to a better place. Shelbyville hospital!"
 Behind the Laughter
Shelbyville was ranked 10th in "The 10 Best Dystopias" in the December 2005 issue of Wired magazine.