‘The Waltons’: The Creator’s Childhood Home Served As a Model For the Show

by Emily Morgan

When it comes to iconic houses from television sitcoms, “The Waltons” house was one we all remember. With its wrap-around porch and traditional country style, it was the perfect background for the family.

“The Waltons'” creator Earl Hamner Jr. looked to his childhood when seeking inspiration for the show. In pre-production, Hamner decided that his former Virginia home would act as the model for the sitcom.

Hamner’s boyhood home was built in 1915 by a local soapstone company, and his family bought the home around 1934 when Earl Sr. worked as a machinist. Hamner’s dad and mom raised their eight children while living in the house.

After the last Hamner family member moved out in 2003, a family friend bought and saved the house from demolition. She resotred it and kept if opened for the public to tour for almost a decade before Carol Johnson— a longtime fan of “The Waltons,” bought it in 2017 to ensure that fans could continue to enjoy and share the family’s life and legacy.

From Blue Ridge Mountains to Hollywood Hills

Schuyler, a quaint and quiet Virginia community nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gave Hamner everything he needed to create “The Waltons.”

Although Hamner wrote numerous stories and scripts, one stood apart. His tales about growing up in the small Virginia town have contributed the most to his lasting legacy.

In addition to creating the show and its beloved characters, Hamner’s voice is the one you hear at the start and end of every episode.

Today, you can take a trip to the place that started it all for Hamner. Fans of “The Waltons” can visit the childhood home. In front of the house is the original shed that Hamner would use to write in to get some peace and quiet away from his siblings.

It also became well known as the garden shed and home to John-Boy’s office for the “Blue Ridge Chronicle” from the show. Now, it has been transformed into the “Walton’s Mountain Country Store,” where visitors can buy gifts, crafts, and items related to the show.

While visiting, you can also stay overnight on the property at John & Olivia’s Bed & Breakfast. The depression-style B&B takes you back in time to the 1930s, where guests can gather around the radio for some old-fashioned entertainment.