The Waltons A Classic TV Family

The waltons

“Walton Family”

The Waltons  TV series tells the story of a family living in Walton’s Mountain in the Virginia countryside during the Depression and World War II.  The show is based on a book by Earl Hammer, Jr. titled Spencer’s Mountain and a film of the same name.  The series ran for nine seasons from 1972 till 1981.

The story depicts the life of the Walton family consisting of John and Olivia Walton (parents) their seven children and John’s parents.  The father makes his living by operating a lumber mill helped by his sons and his father.  In order to provide for his family he supplements  his income by doing some farming and hunting.

Although the family has little and it is a struggle just to get by, they are willing to share with relatives or friends who may stop by the house.

The small community surrounding the Walton home has residents with various occupations and incomes.  Two elderly  Baldwin sisters make moonshine they call “Papa’s recipe”.  Maude is an eighty  something artist  who paints on wood.  Flossie Brimmer is a friendly widow who runs a boarding house and is full of gossip.

There is also a handyman, Yancy Tucker, who never has the motivation to bring his plans to reality.   Ike Godsey owns the general store and runs the post office.  His wife is Corabeth and she is a Walton cousin.  The sheriff  in the  Walton’s Mountain community is Ep Bridges

The Walton’s oldest son is John, Jr.  known to most everyone as John-Boy.  Most shows open with his voice telling about  the events  to be portrayed in the coming story. When John-Boy finishes school  he becomes a journalist and novelist in New York.  During World War II all the Walton boys enlist in the military.

Other boys in the family were Jason, Benjamin, James Robert or Jim-Bob, and the girls were  Mary Ellen, Erin and Elizabeth

At the close of most episodes the house appears with a few lights in bedroom windows.  The family calls goodnight to one another as each bedroom light is turned off.

Later in the series Mary Ellen and Benjamin get married and begin having their own families.  In later television movie sequels Erin, Jason and John-Boy are also married.

Between 1982 and 1997 six feature length sequels aired based the series.   In 1997 the last  sequel was made titled  “A Walton Easter”.


  1. sharon montoya says:

    The waltons has been my snow in hot july, my breeze when its to humid,my homemade quilt in a blizzard and a reminder of the simplicity of what faith and home should be as I raised my 11 kids.A mini vacation some days and others a movie to snuggle with grandkids and watch.Great entertainment.

    • Connie Guntle says:

      BEAUTIFULLY written Miss Montoya! And very well written synopsis by the author of the article! Still my all – time favorite show! Growing up on shows like this helped shape us into the people we are today. So thankful to have had such a positive influence.

    • JUDY COLEY says:


  2. Rhoda says:

    This family is a privilege to ask into my home every chance I get the very essence of the values and dignity that the Walton’s brought into our homes each week as I was a child has permeated the functions of my being an adult…. the gentle strong advise, wisdom and love , family in good and bad the examples that I could draw from this family and apply it to situations in real life, a grand example of how it was and how it should be …. thank you for teaching us , I only wish that there are more families like the Walton’s out there to be role models ( funny how the TV industry doesn’t realize that any more )

  3. Michael Trussler says:

    Absolutely, Rhoda – Growing up in suburban England in the 70s, I watched many of the Waltons on their first run there. Times were not austere for us, comparatively, but looking back now we didn’t have much – there were few luxuries and there wasn’t the expansion of the middle classes as there was in the US at that time.
    As a young boy, watching the Waltons always left me feeling calm and peaceful and fulfilled; the most gentle and expositive lesson in how family can be so much and how grand life can be with the simplest ideals. How adversity and hardship and complexity and change cannot alter the unalterable bonds between loved-ones. I understood it then and ever more so when I watch them now with my daughter.
    Watching the Waltons back then I was also becoming conscious of that place ‘America’, was it the same place with the cowboys and the big cars, the car chases and the gun-fights ? Those big, loud, happy people with the great teeth and huge meals ? Yes it was – how diverse. Now, 30 years later I am a happy and grateful transplant, living almost exactly between the one Shining Sea and the other. I see much of what was good and wholesome in the Waltons still here – the appreciation of the landscape and the ethos of self-reliance and hard work, respect for elders and the right of children to live a full and unhurried childhood. It is a reality that many here do not see in their own country.
    As ever was – and alluded to in the program, the winds of change blow across this land, and that stability and peace is threatened, by simple actions of kindness and love towards those we hold most dearly; the golden times we love to watch on the screen can be ours again. Although the scenery and props are different, what the Waltons captures brilliantly is the timeless magic that happens between people when they talk and work and laugh and love together.

  4. vicki says:

    only one problem with this story you wrote, you made it sounded like Mary Ellen and Ben got married together. lol just had to write that.

  5. Michelle Forsythe says:

    Fellow Waltons Fans:

    Earl Hamner and his work changed people’s lives for the better was the consistent message from actors, directors and writers during the weekend’s anniversary/reunion events.

    I’d bet that you feel the same.

    To honor Mr. Hamner on his 90th birthday in July 2013, I propose giving him a collection of heartwarming and funny stories from FANS around the world.

    I want to collect your stories about how the series impacted you, moved you, changed you, inspired you – made you laugh, made you cry.

    Do you have a special story about a particular episode? Character? Cast member? Time at a reunion? Mr. Hamner himself?

    If so, send it to me! Send me your short stories, poems, pics and art. Let’s try to gather at least 90!

    Tell me what motivated you to travel from places like England and Germany to attend the reunion. Why you scrimped and saved to go. How your childhood was changed because of the show. Why you let your kids watch the show today when other shows are off limits.

    Any ideas for a title? Like the show, this book will be a collaboration! – No, you won’t get paid. But you’ll get the satisfaction of honoring the great storyteller with your story on his milestone birthday.

    * I will compile your work, edit the book, format it and have it printed.
    * Then, I will ship the wrapped book from all of us to Mr. Hamner to honor him on his 90th birthday!

    * Non-fiction
    * Maximum of 1,200 words
    * Deadline – December 31, 2012

    1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know as a result of watching the show in general, or even better – a specific episode.

    2. Tell your story in a way that will make Mr. Hamner laugh, cry or be overwhelmed with joy. Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?

    3. Be sure to describe your situation, the action taken and the result – such as a lesson learned or a positive change.

    4. Be real! Be authentic! We want to shower him with appreciation for his work.

    If you want to contribute, send your story to
    **SHHHHHHHHHH! Don’t let Mr. Hamner know about our forthcoming gift!**

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