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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1957 - On Television - Wagon Train
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1957!
In 1957, Wagon Train made its debut on television to begin its eight-year run. The stories of the wagon train moving to California caught on with the American audience who still believed in the romanticized characterization of the westward expansion.

Based on John Ford's 1950 movie, Wagonmaster, the show became one of the most successful television westerns.

A screenshot from the classic western tv program, Wagon Train
Main Characters:
  • Major Seth Adams played by Ward Bond
  • Flint McCollough played by Robert Horton
  • Chris Hale played by John McIntire
  • Bill Hawkes played by Terry Wilson
  • Charlie Wooster played by Frank McGrath
  • Duke Shannon played by Scott Miller
  • Cooper Smith played by Robert Fuller
  • Barnaby West played by Michael Burns

Show Concept:

  • Each season followed a wagon train on its often perilous journey from St. Joseph, Missouri, to California. Negotiating endless deserts, Rocky Mountain passes, and the Great Plains, the settlers had to fend off Indian attacks, deal with harsh weather, and get to the promised land at the Pacific rim under the watchful eye and with the seasoned guidance of trailmaster, Major Seth Adams.

Hosts or Guests:

  • Some of the guest stars included:
    • Ernest Borgnine
    • Lee Van Cleef
    • James Coburn
    • Lou Costello
    • Bette Davis
    • Clint Eastwood
    • Henry Fonda
    • Dennis Hopper
    • Mickey Rooney
    • Barbara Stanwyck
    • Shelley Winters
    • John Wayne
    • Jane Wyman
    • Ronald Reagan

Writers or Producers:

  • Writers included Aaron Spelling, DB Newton, Gene L. Coon
  • Created by Bert Glennon
  • Produced by Howard Christie, Richard Irving, and Richard Lewis
  • Directed by Allen H. Miller, Virgil Vogel, John Ford, Earl Bellamy
  • Edited (assistant) by Steven Spielberg


  • unknown

Networks or stations:

  • NBC (1957-1962)
  • ABC (1962-1965)

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered in 1957
  • Final episode in 1965
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