Lorne Greene's Ponderosa Replica to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

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Fans of the vintage television series Bonanza will be gathering February 15th-17th 2013, in Mesa, Arizona, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lorne Greene’s Ponderosa Replica home.

The event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the house warming party where in 1963 Lorne and Nancy Greene hosted fellow Bonanza actors Michael Landon and wife Lynn and Dan Blocker and wife Dolphia and Bonanza creator and producer David Dortort to the real house based on the show's set at Paramount studios. In addition to tours of the house and an evening barbeque, additional activities will be held at the Arizona Golf Resort, which is the host venue for the event. The group will also tour the nearby Goldfield Ghost Town.

Lorne Greene's Ponderosa replica is a nearly 4,000 square foot home that sits on ½ acre between the 1st and 9th fairways of the Arizona Golf Resort in Mesa, Arizona. It has been restored by its new owners, Louise and Tom Swann, to the way it was in 1963. “It was redecorated through the years primarily with paint and floor coverings. Remarkably, the house still has most of the original light fixtures, cabinetry, doors, woodwork, wood plank flooring in the big room and flagstone patios,” says Louise Swann.

Special guests at the event will be Johnny Western and B.B. Hudspeth. Western is an award-winning country and western singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and radio show host. He performed with Gene Autry and was a part of the Johnny Cash road show for nearly 40 years. He wrote and performed the theme song "The Ballad of Paladin". In collaboration with Johnny Cash, he re-wrote the lyrics of "The Rebel - Johnny Yuma" and “Bonanza.” Hudspeth is a premiere national entertainer, speaker, and impressionist who creates the voices and tales of some of the most beloved characters and personalities of yesteryear and today.

Speakers will be Jim Turner, Vicki Christian and Tom Swann. Turner will speak about Arizona History where relevant to episodes of Bonanza. Jim was formerly Historian for the Arizona Historical Society and is now a free-lance researcher, writer, lecturer and teacher of Arizona history. Christian will speak on the Incredible Life of Ben Cartwright. As co-founder, with Swann, and President of Bonanza Convention, Inc., Vicki lead the team that produced four very successful fan conventions at Lake Tahoe in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2009 as well as the very popular Bonanza Gold quarterly magazines that were produced from 2003 through 2009. Swann is the former business manager for Bonanza Conventions, Inc. He will speak about the history, construction and unique features of Lorne Greene’s Ponderosa.

“There’s a feeling of strength and health about the place,” Greene said of the home in 1963. “Every man has a dream house. Maybe it’s just a red brick semi-detached. Maybe it’s a villa in the south of France. I know that as soon as I walked on to the set of Bonanza and saw the Ponderosa for the first time it became my special dream.”

Bonanza and all related indicia are trademarks of Bonanza Ventures, Inc. and are used with permission.

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Louise Swann
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