What year is When Calls the Heart set? Timeline explained

The cast of
The cast of 'When Calls the Heart' (Image via Instagram/@wcth_tv)

When Calls the Heart is a historical drama series that premiered in 2014 on the Hallmark Channel. Inspired by Janette Oke's book of the same name, the show is set in the early 20th century and follows Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher from a wealthy family who moves to the small coal-mining town of Hope Valley.

The series highlights Elizabeth's adaptation to frontier life, her developing romance with Mountie Jack Thornton, and the challenges faced by the town's residents. When Calls the Heart is known for its themes of community, love, and perseverance. Additionally, the show has garnered a loyal fan base and continued success, spanning 11 seasons so far and including holiday specials.

As per Hallmark, the synopsis of the show reads:

"Inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West, “When Calls the Heart” follows the story of a schoolteacher and single mother, Elizabeth Thornton (Erin Krakow), in the quaint town of Hope Valley. With the help and guidance of the townspeople and her friends, she adjusts to the ever-changing times and the people that enter her life."

As per IMDb, the first season of the show is set in 1910, while the current season is set in the 1920s.

When Calls the Heart is set in the 1900s

A still from 'When Calls the Heart' (Image via Instagram/@wcth_tv)
A still from 'When Calls the Heart' (Image via Instagram/@wcth_tv)

Season one of When Calls the Heart is set in the year 1910, capturing the era's challenges and charm while focusing on themes of community, resilience, and romance. This is when Elizabeth arrives in Hope Valley, and her story begins. As the seasons progress, the years also pass by in tandem.

The early seasons highlight Elizabeth's struggles to adapt to her new environment and her growing romance with the local Mountie, Jack Thornton. After a tragedy befalls her and the local community, subsequent seasons focus on her journey as a mother and teacher, the arrival of new characters, and the town's development.

In the latest seasons, the timeline has moved forward a few years, with Elizabeth's son growing older and new love interests entering her life. At the time of Season 10, which premiered in 2023, the show's timeline was set in 1920. This was confirmed by a newspaper clipping from the show shared by the show's social media page on Facebook. The date in the newspaper read "Sunday, September 24, 1920."

This was further confirmed by actor Chris McNally, who plays Lucas in the show, in an interview with ET in 2022:

"We’re also moving into the 1920s and exploring a new decade — the Roaring Twenties."

In addition, star Andrea Brooks, who plays Faith Carter, told TV Fanatic in a 2023 interview:

"This show started in the early 1910s, and now we're well into the 1920s, and so much changed between those two periods."

Therefore, it can be assumed that the current eleventh season is set in 1921, and the future seasons will also follow the years in chronological order.

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The cast of When Calls the Heart

A still from 'When Calls the Heart' (Image via Instagram/@wcth_tv)
A still from 'When Calls the Heart' (Image via Instagram/@wcth_tv)

When Calls the Heart has featured a dynamic cast throughout its run. The original cast included Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton, and Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton.

Over the years, new faces have joined the ensemble, bringing fresh storylines and characters. Chris McNally portrays Lucas Bouchard, Elizabeth's new love interest, while Kevin McGarry stars as Nathan Grant, another suitor vying for Elizabeth's affection. Jack Wagner as Bill Avery and Pascale Hutton as Rosemary Coulter have become fan favorites, contributing to the evolving and rich ensemble of characters that keep the series engaging and heartfelt.

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All seasons of the show are currently available to watch on Hallmark Movies Now.

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