Two of America’s beloved sitcoms, “Mayberry R.F.D.” and “The Waltons,” have a Hollywood connection longtime fans might not know.
Both television shows used the same farmhouse set on “Mayberry R.F.D.,” the beloved Andy Griffith spin-off, and on “The Waltons.”
In the mid-1960s, Warner Brothers constructed a farmhouse that came to be known as Doonevan Flats. The two-story home featured three widows across the upper level, above a wide porch that spanned the entire facade. A red barn stood to the right of the set.
During its time on “Mayberry R.F.D.,” the farmhouse was the center of the show, acting as Sam Jones’ home. In the opening credits, you can see Sam and Mike playing catch on the front lawn.
In the debut episode, “Andy and Helen Get Married,” audiences can see Aunt Bee in the Jones farmhouse, too.
Since the production crew had transformed the set into a believable homestead for “Mayberry R.F.D,” it took hardly any time to prepare the scene for “The Waltons.”
‘The Waltons’ Creator Childhood Connection To Set
According to the book Warner Bros.: Hollywood’s Ultimate Backlot by Steven Bingen, “The Waltons” creator Earl Hamner Jr. saw the Doonevan Flats farmhouse on the Warner Bros. Studio lot and was in awe of its resemblance to his childhood home in Schuler, Virginia.
As a result, Bingen decided the farmhouse would be the perfect backdrop to the family-friendly sitcom.
The production crew slapped a coat of white paint on the exterior, and dormers were added above the windows to complete the house.
For nine beloved seasons, the set served the Waltons’ home through until the end of its run. However, even after they stopped taping new episodes, the fictional Walton family continued to return to the set for reunion movies.
However, things went awry when in November 1991, a fire on the Warner Bros. lot (reportedly started by a former employee) destroyed the cherished home.
Warner Bros. rebuilt the set, and crews constructed the farmhouse 2.0 on a different studio lot in Burbank.
In the 1990s, after the rebuild, the family still made three more made-for-TV movies, celebrating Thanksgiving, Easter, and the marriage of John-Boy.