The small farming community of Hooterville provided the setting for this highly successful rural situation comedy. Kate Bradley was the widowed owner of the only transient housing in town, the “Shady Rest Hotel”. Helping her run the hotel were her three beautiful daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo.
Also assisting was the girls’ lazy Uncle Joe, who had assumed the title of manager. In addition to her involvement with the hotel, the romantic lives of her daughters and her association with the townspeople, Kate was constantly at odds with Homer Bedlow, vice-president of the C.F. & W. Railroad. Homer was determined to close down the steam-driven branch of the railroad that ran through Hooterville, scrap its lone engine (the Cannonball) and put its two engineers (Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot) out of jobs.
Two years after the premiere of Petticoat Junction, CBS added Green Acres to its lineup. This situation comedy was the story of a Manhattan lawyer who gave up big-city life and bought a run-down farm near Hooterville. For the remainder of their existences, there was interplay between the characters of the two shows.
In the fall of 1966 pilot Steve Elliott crashed outside Hooterville and was nursed back to health by the Bradley girls. He later became romantically involved with Betty Jo and eventually married her. They set up housekeeping not far from the hotel, and had a daughter, Kathy Jo. This despite the efforts of Kate’s hated adversary, Selma Plout, to get Steve interested in her daughter, Henrietta.
Bea Benaderet passed away soon after production began for the 1968-1969 season and her absence left the show without a unifying center of attention. To fill the void, the role of Dr. Janet Craig, a mature woman doctor who became the town physcian when old Dr. Stuart retired, was added late in 1968. The chemistry was not there anymore, however and the show was canceled in 1970.
One of the best parts of the series was the colorful townfolk: Sam Drucker, the general store owner; Fred Ziffel, a pig farmer; Arnold, Fred’s intelligent pig; Doris Ziffel, Fred’s wife; Orrin Pike, the game warden; Ben Miller and Newt Kiley, farmers; Herby Bates, a friend of the girls; and Boy, the Bradley family dog.
I was always in awe watching ‘Petticoat Junction’. Admiring the ‘grown up girls’
with their pretty dresses & hair do’s. Uncle Joe was another favourite & I loved the Steam Train… toot! toot!
Watch the Petticoat Junction Opening theme
Sing along with the words…Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
Forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
Lotsa curves, you bet. Even more when you get to the junction,( Petticoat Junction). There’s a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
It is run by Kate, come and be her guest at the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
And that’s Uncle Joe, he’s a movin’ kind of slow at the junction, (Petticoat Junction)