When Bonanza first aired in September of 1959... who would have guessed-- it would run for fourteen seasons... becoming a television icon?
Love for the show has drawn millions of people to the Ponderosa Ranch theme park in Incline Village.
But now, the curtain is set to close on this piece of American pop culture.
America's fascination with the Wild West... came to life in full color on the set of Bonanza.
In 1967 the Ponderosa Ranch opened its doors... granting fans an inside look at the Cartwright clan.
Since then... millions have walked through the gate. Now nearly four decades later... the Ponderosa is closing.
Royce Anderson literally grew up on the Ponderosa... his dad Bill started the operation shortly after helping to build the fledgling town of InclineVillage. While the Ranch's popularity with fans has remained constant... it couldn't keep up with Tahoe's skyrocketing real-estate prices.
So last year... amid controversy and consternation... the Ponderosa and it's 580 acres was sold. It's future still uncertain. But it's days as an attraction open to the public... apparently gone for good. So this weekend... fans new and old are flocking back.
Realize now that Ayla Schlecht was born 14 years after Bonanza went off the air. Nevertheless she's become an avid fan of the show... sorry to see the Ranch close.
So after 38 years the Ponderosa Ranch closes its doors to the public Sunday afternoon. A piece of Americana lost to public view. Memories of the Cartwrights and Bonanza left to live on in Re-Runs.
Along with the purchase of the land... the sale of the Ponderosa included every single item at the famed attraction.
It sold... lock, stock and barrel... right down to Little Joe's green jacket... and Hoss's vest. The Ponderosa Ranch will be open from 9:30 to 6:00 Saturday and Sunday.