Photos By Tommy Stafford : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Earl Hamner, Jr (right) walks with Carolyn Grinnell, President of The Waltons Int'l Fan Club, from his boyhood church Saturday morning in Schuyler. Virginia. : Click on any photos to enlarge.
Nelson County, Virginia
Decades after leaving Nelson County, Earl Hamner, Jr. comes back as often as he can. He was born in Schuyler, Virginia in 1923. We first told you about Earl’s return last week when he made an appearance at The Hamner Theater in Afton. The theater was named in his honor in 2005. Earl is the creator of The Waltons, a highly popular television series based on his childhood growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County. Over the weekend in Schuyler as part of a Walton’s International Fan Club event, Earl along with actor, Jon Walmsley (he played Jason on the television series) accompanied Earl back to his birth town of Schuyler.
Hamner, Grinnell, and Walmsley sit on the front porch of the house in Schuyler where Earl grew up as a young man. The house was just renovated and opened for a tour Saturday.
A crowd of fans wait outside the Hamner home place in Schuyler on Saturday.
Fans gather near the porch of the Hamner house to chat with Earl and Jon.
Before heading over to the restored childhood home of Hamner, a special chruch service was held inside The Schuyler Baptist Church where Earl attended church as a young boy in the 30's
Earl clutches an old light fixture preserved from the original church, given to him Saturday as a memento. Jon Walmsley watches in the background from a piano where he played hymns for the crowd.
Hamner was greeted by a packed house at The Schuyler Baptist Church Saturday morning.
Jon Walmsley plays the piano at Saturday's event in Schuyler. His wife Marion is to his left.
Rev. Tom Fowler and Earl sing from a hymnal at Saturday morning's special service in Schuyler.
Earl poses on the porch of his childhood home in Schuyler with his remaining siblings, the fan club president and Jon Walmsley with his wife Marion on the far right.
Jon Walmsley (Jason) chats with a fan inside the old Hamner house in Schuyler.
Folks pile into The Waltons Mountain B & B Gift Shop Saturday during Earl's visit back to Schuyler.
After leaving Schuyler, Earl headed to the
Nelson County Museum of History where a special display of memorabilia was on display honoring Earl for his work.
Earl looks over an emmy he received for his television work. It is on display at the museum. Woody Greenberg with the museum and a close personal friend of Earl's is in the background.
Earl along with his real life sister, Audrey and Paul Saunders look at a picture of Audrey she discovered in Paul's book, Heartbeats of Nelson.
After visiting the museum, it was back to Charlottesville for a reunion dinner at The Doubletree. From there Earl heads to New York where he met his wife Jane decades ago, and later married. They will be celebrating their anniversary before heading back home to California.