The story began with the mini-series "The Macahans" in 1977. The TV series was titled "How the West Was Won" and ran for 20 episodes beginning in 1979.
The story is about a family from Virginia who travels across the country to a new life in Oregon. Rugged mountain man Zeb Macahan has to take care of his orphaned Nieces and nephews with a little help from their aunt Molly after their parents were killed in an accident. Starred James Arness, Fionnula Flanagan, Eva Marie Saint and Bruce Boxleitner and it was a top-rated miniseries in 1977.