Earl Hamner, From Page to Screen
In the small town of Schuyler, Virginia, the Waltons Hamner House (128 Tree Top Loop) and the Walton’s Mountain Museum welcome visitors. Watch our video here: The Hamner House. Read about the Museum here: http://walton-mountain.org.
It is in the Piedmont area of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Charlottesville. The road toward the homestead — Route 6 off of Route 29 — is long, narrow, and windy, and best driven in daylight. Tours are offered by reservation so visitors need to call ahead to make arrangements. The town itself feels like a throwback to its original era where neighbors wave “hello” from passing cars and vintage-style crafts are available for sale.
The Waltons was a popular network television series based on the rural upbringing of writer Earl Hamner, Jr. (1923-2016), author of The Homecoming and screenwriter of The Waltons, Twilight Zone, and Falcon Crest. He also narrated The Waltons.
Airing in the 1970s and set mostly during the Depression, The Waltons was framed through the eyes of an aspiring young writer named “John-Boy,” played by Richard Thomas. The series has long been considered an icon of American television history. While nostalgic, it sensitively spoke into political and social issues rising in public awareness during the 1970s, such as feminism, racism, marital stress, and financial strife.
The homestead features the house in which Earl Hamner grew up, a cargo truck and “The Shed” country store that factored strongly in the series. The Museum is about a half of a block away on the opposite side of the street.
The property added “Earl’s Meadow” in 2019, thanks to its new private owners who value preserving the national memory of Earl Hamner and his work. In addition to the Hamner House, it includes a replica of the Waltons’ house, familiar to viewers worldwide, a bed-and-breakfast, and a botanical garden named for the actor who played the grandfather on the show, Will Geer.
Read more about John & Olivia’s Bed and Breakfast at: https://thewaltonhamnerhouse.com/bnb.
This is the second stop on our Virginia Author Adventures Trail.