(Based on a True Story)
Set in southern West Virginia between 1900 and 1956, the show is a prime time, hour-long, historical drama series, with a touch of fantasy about an immigrant from Europe that had a dream for his family to live free.
Mary Shoda, 96, the family’s only surviving member, takes us on an inspirational journey reliving the memories of her life.
William and Veda Shoda had big dreams when they arrived in America from Zagreb, Croatia, in the early 1900s and settled in Sagamore Hollow, West Virginia, where they lived in a ramshackle coal-town company house. William worked deep in the mines where company men lorded over the Sagers and Hunks who worked the mines. But William had a plan to work hard and make a better life for his growing family. Immigrant miners who looked up to him became part of his story.
Life was hard for the Shodas, especially in the beginning as children were born and not all survived. Their beloved daughter Ruby, along with a symbolic watchful bald eagle, becomes a guiding beacon to the family as they see them through their adventures as the family grows.
William made wine and Veda had a knack for feeding people. With Veda’s help, William’s dream begins to take shape, and they build Ruby’s House, then the Cardinal Inn, and finally Club 52. Club 52 becomes the stage where stars are born, and long-standing grievances play out.
Mary, and her younger brother Georgie, struggle to achieve William’s American dream. Along the way, the family battles cultural prejudices, mistreatment of immigrant coal miners, and a growing danger from Mary’s ex-mother-in-law. Their endurance and spirit were tested against overwhelming difficulties of the times.
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