Earl Hamner Jr.
the real John-Boy Walton
Portraying the heart of America.
For more than a decade, one of America’s favorite award winning family shows, “The Waltons” aired on TV. Come, visit the ‘real’ home of it’s creator, author Earl Hamner Jr., the ‘real’ John-Boy Walton.
People have been asking for more than four decades if "the family is real" and "is there a 'real' Walton's Mountain?" The answer is yes. Though the names might be different Earl Hamner based the show on his memories of growing up in rural Virginia with his family during the depression. He wrote what he knew...and from the heart. It's for those reasons that his home and family has left a legacy of inspiration for many who wish they grew up...like the Waltons.
Best known for creating the TV shows 'Falcon Crest' and 'The Waltons', Earl wrote his entire life, creating many stories, scripts and novels.
Drive through the meandering country roads south of Charlottesville, east of the Blue Ridge Parkway and you’ll come to the sleepy town of Schuyler, Virginia. Just down from the schoolhouse and up from the Baptist church stands the childhood home of Earl Hamner Jr., the writer-creator of the much loved television show ‘The Waltons’.
You have arrived at the ‘Real’ Walton’s Mountain. Come, sit on the porch and stay awhile.
It's all about Family
The Hamner home, headed by Earl Hamner, Sr. and Doris Giannini Hamner, sheltered eight ‘thoroughbred’ siblings who were instilled with determination, tempered with gentility and a love of family. Earl was the oldest by 6 years and if you haven't realized it yet yes, he was the 'real' John-Boy. His dreams of writing the great American novel took him to New York and Hollywood where he worked in radio, film and television. His siblings, next in line were, Cliff (Jason), Marian (Mary-Ellen), Audrey (Erin), Paul (Ben), Bill (Ben), James (Jim-Bob) and Nancy (Elizabeth).
Country Charm & Family Values
Discover Earl’s enduring legacy through replicas from ‘The Waltons’ Hollywood set and antiques from the Hamner and Giannini homes. Step back to a gentler time...
Other Area Attractions
In front of the house is the original shed that Earl would use at times to write in to get some peace from other member’s of his family. This became well known as the garden shed and home to John-Boy’s office for the “Blue Ridge Chronicle” on the TV show. It is now home to the “Walton’s Mountain Country Store” and carries many fine gifts, crafts and items related to the show. Sometimes you can even find some hard to find authentic memorabilia for sale as well. The store also runs a B&B as well.
Just up the road from the house is Earl’s old high school that is now home to the Walton’s Mountain Museum and the Schuyler Community Center. Recreations of the kitchen, living room and John-Boy’s bedroom plus much memorabilia, as well as a recreation of the front porch and the original “Pony Cart” as seen in 2 episodes of the show “The Pony Cart” and “”. As well Godsey’s Mercantile gift shop carries many excellent souvenirs, books and videos related to “The Waltons” TV Show.
While in town make sure to see the Baptist Church that Doris attended with her children and Earl Sr. avoided in favor of fishing in the Rockfish River. The Alberene Soapstone Company is the Quarry where Earl Sr. made his living providing for his family of 10. In fact the Hamner home was a company house built by the quarry for it's workers.
A new attraction for the community is The Quarry Gardens. Opened in 2017 the quarries were actively mined between the 1950s and 1970s. Visitors can now enjoy private gardens, exhibits on native plants, local ecosystems, and the history of the soapstone industry in Schuyler. Plans are to build out native plant communities in 14 ecozones and 7 conservation areas immediately surrounding the quarry pools.
From Charlottesville take US29 south to Highway 6, turn left...From Lynchburg take US29 north to Highway 6, turn right...continue for 6 miles to State Road 800, Schuyler Road, turn right, continue to the stop sign then turn right onto Rockfish River Road. The Walton Hamner House is on the left.