Walton's Mountain was based upon creator Earl Hamner Jr.'s hometown of Schuyler in Nelson County south of Charlottesville, Virginia. His family and the community provided many life experiences which aided in the characters, values, area, and human-interest stories of his books, movies, and television series. While Walton's Mountain itself is fictional, Schuyler and surrounding area bear a striking resemblance. A small museum is located in a former school building at Schuyler, not far from State Route 6.
John-Boy Walton's fictional alma mater, Boatwright University, is patterned after Richmond College, which became part of the University of Richmond on Boatwright Drive, near Westham Station in The West End of Richmond, Virginia, about 70 miles east of Schuyler. The University of Richmond also has a Boatwright Library and is also located not far from State Route 6.