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Bonanza Star Builds Ponderosa Replica

Mar. 4, 1963 - “When I first walked onto the Ponderosa set four years ago,” said actor Lorne Greene, “I swore to myself that someday I’d have a house like that. It’s taken four years — but we’ve got the house.” Greene and his wife Nancy held the first housewarming (pictured) for their new home, Ponderosa II, last weekend. The big house is almost an exact duplicate of the ranch house Greene (as Ben Cartwright) and his three sons inhabit each Sunday night on “Bonanza.” The great log building stands on the sunbaked Arizona plains midway between Mesa and Apache Junction in a new housing development in which Greene has an interest. Guests admired the massive log house with its towering stone fireplace, wrought-iron doors, and the antique furniture that Nancy painstakingly searched for and found. It has the grand staircase of the set rising to a second floor which isn’t there — when Greene wants to duplicate something, he duplicates it. The guests were mostly old friends — Dan Blocker and Michael Landon, who play Cartwright sons; David Dortort, creator-producer of “Bonanza”; actress Susan Oliver; actors John Conte, Peter Graves, and Leslie Nielsen; singer Mel Torme; and one of Greene’s oldest friends, actor Lou Jacobi. They ate barbecued beef from a chuckwagon and square-danced to western music.


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