A long-awaited addition to a 'Waltons' destination in Schuyler is on track to open in October and now is accepting reservations from the general public.
Earlier this year, the Nelson County Board of Supervisors approved a request to construct a bed and breakfast directly across from the Walton’s Mountain Museum at 6484 Rockfish River Road in Schuyler. “The Waltons”-inspired home — called John & Olivia’s Bed & Breakfast Inn — is now about halfway complete.
“You will recognize it both inside and out,” Laurie Lane, manager of the Walton Hamner House, said about the inn.
“The Waltons” was a TV show that ran between 1972 and 1981 featuring the life of a Depression-era family in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Earl Hamner, Jr. created the show based off his book Spencer’s Mountain.
Laurie and Frank Lane will be on-site innkeepers at the bed and breakfast year round. Laurie Lane said good progress is being made; the roof is complete and the windows are in place. Frank Lane is the home distribution manager for The News & Advance. The next steps include finishing the inside of the inn and the different rooms. For a fun addition, the public was invited to the bed-and-breakfast on July 13 for an “autograph party.”
Visitors had a chance to sign their name and write a favorite Earl Hamner, Jr. saying, quote from “The Waltons” show, or Bible verse on the inside frame boards or the inside steps. The signatures and sayings will be covered by floors and walls, but the event gave the public a chance to be part of the inn forever.
Carole Johnson, owner of the Walton Hamner House, said everything is going well so far. The Walton Hamner House is the childhood home of Earl Hamner Jr. the creator of The Waltons, which is a tourist attraction located next door.
“We are just so excited for all of it,” Johnson said.
Between the construction and the furnishings, Johnson said she is happy to have been able to use all local sources.
“We’re very fortunate to work with so many local people. I haven’t outsourced anything at all to get this done,” Johnson said.
The inn includes five rooms that can be reserved; the Writer’s Room, the Parents’ Room, the Boys’ Room, the Girls’ Room, and the Grandparents’ Room. The Grandparents’ Room will feature a stain glass window much like the window in the grandparents’ room on the show. Guests can start staying at the inn Nov. 1.
Johnson said they have already had someone reserve a room for New Year’s Eve.
“The prices are going to be very reasonable and one special feature we are going to offer is the choice to have “Goodnight” said to you,” Lane said, just like the Walton family did on the TV show.
The inside of the home will include furnishing similar to the furnishing on the show, some of which are made by Nelson County resident David Hight using poplar trees from the property. Hight is currently working on a table for the inn.
“[Carole] Johnson has chosen the stain color, so I just have to finish sanding, stain and assemble the table. I will also make some small items from the wood,” Hight said in an email.
The inn will have a grand opening during the “Forever Friends of the Waltons” reunion Oct. 25 and 26. This year, a number of the cast members will be the first guests at the bed and breakfast.
John Walmsley, who played Jason Walton; Judy Norton Taylor, who played Mary Ellen Walton; Eric Scott, who played Ben Walton; Mary Elizabeth McDonough, who played Erin Walton; and Kami Colter, who played Elizabeth Walton will all be in attendance.
Tickets went on sale to the public for the reunion weekend July 14.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Lane said.