Agent Daniel Mullins was concluding some business with a client in Mesa, AZ, one day when the client casually mentioned that Mullins should visit the Ponderosa house down the street. When Mullins, who grew up a big fan of the TV series "Bonanza," saw the home, he immediately knew what his client was talking about.
This two-bedroom home, known as Ponderosa II, is a replica of the Ponderosa ranch house on "Bonanza." The show's star, Lorne Greene, built it in 1963 as a weekend getaway from Los Angeles. The home, which sits on a half-acre adjoining a golf course, is now on the market for $849,900. Mullins is the listing agent.
"It's pretty amazing when you're in that great room," says homeowner Louise Swann. The room, which includes a massive stone fireplace, is "an exact replica of the set. It's like walking onto the set," says Swann, who's a lifelong "Bonanza" fan, as is her husband.
The room even includes the staircase seen on the show leading to the home's bedrooms. In this Ponderosa, however, the stairs lead to an attic.The home is built with real logs, although they were cut into crescent shapes to enable attaching of wallboard in some rooms, Mullins explains.
"Bonanza" ran on NBC from 1959 to 1973, captivating the baby boomers, and remains in syndication today. It centers around the Cartwright family, headed by patriarch Ben, played by Greene, and his three adult sons. TV Guide ranked it 43rd on its list of the 50 Greatest TV shows of all time. The homeowners' love for the show led them to buy the property in 2011.
"It was a project for us to save the house, to restore it," explains Swann. "We've spent the last four-and-a-half years bringing back Bonanza. It's taken a lot of TLC. We always intended to save it, get it preserved, and pass it on to the next person to love it."
The home was designated a landmark in 2014 by Mesa, which put a plaque bearing Greene's likeness in front. From the outside, it looks like an 1860s log home. Inside, Swann and her husband have sought to preserve the '60s touches that Greene had installed, including the original stove and range hood in the kitchen.
Swann has "Bonanza" memorabilia -- including life-size cutouts of the main characters -- throughout the house. She's hosted parties for as many as 150 fans, using the home's well-appointed back terrace and yard, which abuts the Arizona Golf Resort. The home comes with 325 feet of golf course frontage.
"We're just looking for the right person, the right fan. It's going to be a fan for sure" who buys the home, Mullins predicts. And when they do, they can walk in the footsteps of Greene and "Bonanza" cast members who came to visit him at his version of the Ponderosa.