If you’re a fan of The Waltons, you may notice something oddly familiar about Lorelai’s inn on Gilmore Girls—it’s John-Boy’s childhood home.
The classic TV series, which ran from 1972 to 1981, was based in a small depression-era town in the Virginian mountains. And the Walton family’s charming and iconic home became a character in its own right to audiences. In fact, it was so charming that Gilmore Girls decided to use it for its own wholesome story nearly two decades later.
As fans of the CW hit know, Lorelai Gilmore and her quirky best friend Sookie St. James bought a rundown historic Star Hollow home at the end of season 4 to turn into a bed and breakfast, which they called The Dragonfly Inn. And the inn became a pivotal backdrop for the remainder of the series.
Inside the set, Luke and Lorelai shared their first kiss, Rory rekindled the flames with her first love, Dean, and Sookie rose from a small town to a world-renowned chef. The inn also returned for the revival, A Year in the Life, in 2016. And it is the same cherished set-piece from Earl Hamner’s Emmy-winning show.
‘Gilmore Girls’ Gave the Home a New Look in the 2000s
Warner Bros. built the building, which it called Doonevan Flats, back in the 1960s. And it sat on the backlot of the company’s studio lot. It had been used in a few series and movies throughout its lifetime, including the Andy Griffith spinoff, Mayberry R.F.D.
When The Walton’s moved in, Doonevan Flats looked slightly different than its most recent series. Every night when the camera would pan out to show the house as the family wished each other goodnight, viewers saw a white, weathered farmhouse.
When Lorelai and Sookie bought the home, it almost looked as though the Waltons had abandoned it decades prior. So they gave it a complete remodel. For its final look, the two chose to paint it a pale yellow. And they adorned the home with lavish gardens and window boxes to give it a more upscale feel. So it wasn’t completely recognizable for less avid Waltons watchers.
The Original ‘The Waltons’ Home Burned Down in 1991
Unfortunately, the house is not the exact building that the family occupied earlier in the franchise though. In 1991, Doonevan Flats burned to the ground during a studio fire. Nonetheless, both television shows did inhabit the same building in different eras.
After the unfortunate fire, Warner Bros. constructed an exact replica on a different lot. And it filmed the final three The Waltons TV movies inside before it became a Stars Hallow staple.