Ep.1 - The Foundling

  Original Airdate: September 14, 1972
Writer: John McGreevey
Director: Vincent Sherman


  "When I was growing up during the Depression I lived with my red-headed brothers and sisters, my parents and grandparents at the foot of a mountain which had been in our family for generations. My father used to say that in our house there was always room for one more. And I remember one morning when his hospitality was put to a challenging test."


  The family finds a little deaf girl, Holly who has been left on their doorstep. The family struggles with how to help her. Mary Ellen tries to teach the girl sign language. Later, John boy makes a breakthrough and discovers that the girl can communicate with sign language. Ruth, the girl's mother keeps a watchful eye from the woods. She hopes that The Waltons will be able to provide for her daughter so that she won't end up in the County Home. Events come to a climax after the Waltons discover that their daughter Elizabeth is missing and Anson, the girl's father tries to take Holly away. Holly becomes instrumental in saving Elizabeth's life who had become trapped in a locked trunk. The girl's parents learn that there is hope for their daughter if they learn to communicate with sign language.

Secondary Story:

  John Boy is inspired to write love poems for his classmate Marcia Woolery. She doesn't take too kindly to his fancy talk but eventually she shows her affection by baking him a gingerbread.


  "Those were lean years and for many Americans a harsh and bitter time. On Walton's Mountain we were sustained with poems and gingerbread and laughter and sharing but most of all my remarkable Mother and Father. The house in which we were born and raised is still there, still home and on the winds that sigh along those misted Blue Ridged Mountains our voices must echo still."

Episode Notes:

  • This episode marks the first appearance of: Sheriff Ep Bridges, Doc Holliday, Marcia Woolery and Ike Godsey.
  • Actress Erica Hunton, who plays the little girl Holly returns to play the character of Lucille in "The Unthinkable" (s8-ep14)
  • Marcia Woolery's father makes Dandelion Wine. The Walton's house is a half mile down the road from Godsey's Mercantile.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Charlotte Stewart (Ruth Collier), Richard Kelton (Anson Collier), Erica Hunton (Holly) with: John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Tami Bula (Marcia Woolery), C.J. Mitchell (Dr. Dan Holloway)



Music from this episode:

  Alternate Waltons theme
  Troubling theme



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