‘When Calls the Heart’ is a drama TV series based on the eponymous book by Janette Oke. Developed for TV by Michael Landon Jr., it follows Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher who arrives in the town of Coal Valley for her first classroom assignment. The town is still reeling under the trauma of a tragic coal mine accident, but Elizabeth’s presence soon makes things look up as she helps the residents in starting afresh. Along the way, she not just forges beautiful friendships but also finds true love and purpose in life.
As the series progresses, it further focuses on the unique locals of Coal Valley and their interpersonal relationships. Moreover, it documents the transformation of Coal Valley from being the tragic aftermath of a mining accident to Hope Valley, a land of prosperity and growth. The period setting of ‘When Calls the Heart’ adds a beautiful visual element to the narrative and also plays a pivotal role in depicting the growth in the characters’ lives. Let’s find out more about when and where it is set, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Year Does When Calls the Heart Take Place?
‘When Calls the Heart’ is a period drama TV show that takes the viewers back to the early 20th Century. In season 1, Elizabeth arrives in Coal Valley in the year 1910, and each season thereon has a gap of a year since the end of the previous season. Thus, the show is set in its entirety in the years from 1910 and onwards.
In addition, numerous events throughout the show depict the period, such as the arrival of a telephone in season 6, which most likely takes place in 1916. Another example can be seen in season 4 when the Northern Pacific Railway plans to lay down a new railroad through the town, thus allowing new work opportunities to bring more people to Hope Valley. Lastly, the costume department has especially ensured that the outfits of the characters reflect the era the storyline is set in, created from a mix of silhouettes from the 1910s and modern color palettes.
What Location is When Calls the Heart Set In?
‘When Calls the Heart’ mainly happens in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town on the Western Canadian Frontier, located south of Robb, Alberta. The townsfolk live in houses provided by the mining company and the primary source of livelihood is the coal mine, which shuts after the explosion that kills 47 workers as the commences.
The town in the show has been named after a real locality in Alberta but filmed on a movie set in Langley, British Columbia. Moreover, Elizabeth belongs to the port city of Hamilton, Ontario, where she grows up in high society with her wealthy parents. She eventually travels to the quaint Coal Valley, where she initially has trouble adjusting to small-town life.
Later renamed Hope Valley, the town has a pastoral setting and an architectural style from the 1910s reflected in buildings like the saloon, the church, as well as the Valley Voice newspaper’s office. In summation, ‘When Calls the Heart’ successfully recreates the backdrop of a Canadian Frontier town from that era.