The Berm areas

There were 3 Berms originally on the north west side of the Ranch which were created around 1964 and the earliest they are known to be seen is in Camp Runanmuck in 1965. Part of these Berms are still there and currently surround the rebuild Walton's home. 3 Shows featured the Berms predominately, Camp Runamuck, Gidget and Here Come the Brides.
The Berm areas are hard to describe as they were pretty nondescript. A huge pile of rubble and dirt covert with greens, merely to hide the real workings of the Lot, the Sound Stages and the ever growing neighborhoods around the Ranch itself. They were used as a backdrop for mountain like country or dunes of a beach and were also reshaped over the years to accommodate sets and changes to the Ranch it self. The biggest being the sale of the 8 acres in the upper north corner for the shopping center.
In early 1964 a pitch was made for a new televison show calle 'Camp Runamuck'. This show focused on a Scout Camp for boys on one side of a lake and a girls camp on the other. It was a fun show that mainly focused on the whacky adventures of the Camps leaders and the trouble they got in to, compared to the kids. Ninety percent of the filming was done right there on the Ranch and used Berm 'A" & 'B" mainly, but on occasion the Lagoon and the Berm were used for close-ups on the Lake. For 'real' lake scenes however, the Franklin Canyon Reservoir was used.
Berm A and B were in a boomerang shape so to speak with a smaller Berm somewhat dividing it in half. This was used for Camp Runamuck in 1965, where the Girls Camp (Camp Divine) was on the left side (Across from Stage 30) and the Boys Camp (Camp Runamuck) was on the right side. A semi similar set up was used for Her Come The Brides in 1967, where the Church and Lottie's Saloon was on the left and separated by the Middle Berm on the lower right, the Bolt's and Jail, although the middle Berm was reshaped for the filming of the show.
The Girls Camp as seen in Camp Runamuck. Clearly visible in the background is the arched roof of Stage 30 (Photo courtesy of Steve Lodge)
An aerial view of the Berms at the Ranch circa late 1965. Showing here is the Camp Runamuck set with the boys Mess hall in the center of the image. Later to become almost the exact location for the Apple's Way House and the Fantasy Island house.
Camp Runamuck used both Berms 'A' & 'B' and the third Berm and the Lagoon frequently. However, the show only lasted one full season and was cancelled. The set was torn down to make way for a new show a year later called Here Come the Brides. Both Berm areas were turned into rural Seattle and fake docking poles were placed strategically to represent a harbor/port where a boat would dock. The flag pole was replaced and a Totem pole was put in its place.
The Brides set underwent numerous changes and additions throughout its run of 2 seasons. The Church was originally angled at a 12 o'clock position (looking from the same view as above image) but was relocated at a 11 o'clock for a better perspective. It also gained a small addition to the left side. Lottie's originally was a small single story Saloon, but in the second season it was turned in to a 2 story building. Main reasons for this was to hide the visibility of the Sound Stage behind it, which was so noticeable in the first season. The General store was rebuild from the ground up and the structures to the left of it were strategically connected to it to obscure visibility of Stage 29.
Sound Stage 30, visible behind Lottie's saloon The original set as seen in the first few episodes
One addition to the set was actually writtin into the story line of the show. The building of the Dormitory for the girls was done during the first season of the show and became a permanent and well used facade, even long after HCTB was over.
The Dormitory as seen in an episode of Fantasy Island in 1979
The Dormatory in 1972
After Here Come the Brides was cancelled in 1970, another show called Young Rebels took over the sets for a short period. But because of the show taking place during the Civil War, many of the facades on Berm 'B" were used for the 'bombardment' scenes and litterally destroyed.
The set on Berm 'B' during 'Here Come the Brides'
The same set being blown up during 'Young Rebels'
After 'Young Rebels' destroyed many of the structures, the area where Camp Runamuck and the Bolt's house once was located, was re-landscaped once again andmade way for a new 3 story tall structure for the short lived show Apple's Way. A very shallow pond was added to make it appear as if the 'Mill' was actually built over water and all the dirt and mud was replaced with lucious green grass.
The facade remained there until it was remodelled for Fantasy Island in 1977. It, along with the Here Come the Brides Dormitory on the other side of the middle Berm, remained in tact for the next 10 years.
Above: The 'Apple's Way' house in 1974.

To the right: The same facade tunred into the 'Fantasy Island' house in 1978.

The sets on Berm 'A' remained in tact for a few years and were used on occassion by numerous shows like The Monkees, Bewitched and The Partridge Family. By mid 1974 some major changes were in the works on the Ranch and near the Berms. First the selling of the upper 6 acres of the Ranch for a shopping center. The Berm and Lagoon were 'leveled' and part of the dirt was re-shifted to Berms 'A' & 'B' to make them a little taller and fuller. Berm 'B' was shortened so to speak to allow for the shopping center and a narrow drive alog the fence line.

This set up stayed pretty much the same up until 1992 when the Dormitory and the 'Fantasy Island' house were torn down and the area once again was re-landscaped to accomodate what was left of the original 'Walton's house' from the WB main lot. (It had caught fire but what remained was deemed to be saved and to be rebuild)

The 'Walton's House' as it was originally rebuild in 1992 on the Ranch
The 'Walton's House' as it was in April of 2009
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