The show chronicles the adventures of a wagon train as it makes its way from Missouri to California. There were 284 episodes in 8 seasons: the first aired on September 18, 1957.
Each week it told the story of one of the travelers on an 1870's "wagon train" making its way across the American West. This format thus combined the sweeping backdrop of an ever-changing frontier with the small, personal story of a single individual.
So popular did the show become that it attracted an impressive array of "guest stars" -- Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Leslie Nielsen, Lee Marvin, etc.
Bette Davis appeared in three episodes as different characters; as Bettina May (1961), Ella Lindstrom (1959) and Madame Elizabeth McQueeney (1959).
I appreciated all the famous guest stars this series seemed to attract.