It was "Survivor" meets "Little House on the Prairie," and for PBS, it was one of their most successful television programs ever. "Frontier House" took three modern families and planted them onto an 1883 homestead. For five months, the families had to live as many Americans lived a century ago — chopping wood, lugging water up from the river, living off of the land.
"Frontier House" was a living history lesson for the millions of Americans who watched it — most of them, no doubt, sitting on their sofas munching on processed food. The modern-day headaches of traffic jams and constant cell phone ringing and long hours at the office suddenly don't seem so bad when you see what life in America looked like not that along ago.
This hour, one of the "Frontier House" families and two historians examine how much life in America has changed over the past 120 years — and which changes are for the better and which are for the worse.
Nate and Kristen Brooks, the young couple that got married on "Frontier House"
Linda Peavy & Ursula Smith, experts on 19th Century U.S. History, especially the frontier, historical consultants to "Frontier House"
This program aired on June 16, 2002. The audio for this program is not available.