You can’t help but wonder what Hoss and Little Joe would say about the sale of the site of TV’s fictional Ponderosa Ranch for $38 million. It set the record for the highest-priced waterfront residential sale on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
Now known as Sierra Sunset, the 24-acre property in Zephyr Cove was used as backdrop for the popular TV series “Bonanza,” which aired from 1959 to 1973. You may remember the family riding horseback on the pine-forested property along the shores of the massive freshwater lake.
The property wasn’t always a TV star. It was originally the site of the historic Bourne estate, named for Singer sewing machine heir Arthur Bourne. Not so coincidentally, the new owner was a childhood friend of the Bourne family. He spent summers at the beach and at the original home that existed before the construction of Sierra Sunset.
“The new owner is the perfect steward for this historic property. He will maintain the natural beauty of the meadows and lakeside setting. It’s exciting to see the Bourne history will live on through the ties back to their family,” says listing agent Lexi Cerretti of Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty.
Built in 2004, the main residence would have dropped the jaws of the Cartwright family. The 17,700-square-foot mansion features two living rooms, a game room with bar, a home theater, an eat-in kitchen, a wine room with seating, two offices, a home gym with full bath and sauna, and a crafts room.
In addition to the master suite, there are seven en suite guest rooms. A two-bedroom guesthouse includes a full kitchen and living area. In total, there are nine bedrooms and 9.5 baths.
The main house has a number of luxe touches, including nine fireplaces, oversize mahogany doors, and heated stone and wood flooring. After all, it does get cold in this part of the country in winter.
In the spring, summer, and early fall, residents and guests can enjoy 378 feet of sandy beachfront highlighted by a pier, boat hoist, and buoy.
In an echo of its TV past, Sierra Sunset is also a property for equine aficionados. There’s a 7-acre parcel with a 15-stall stable, wash rack, and grooming area for horses. The home’s sellers were known for raising champion thoroughbreds—including the property’s namesake, Sierra Sunset.
And as is the case with many multimillion-dollar properties, the record-setting sale took a few years to come together. The world-famous ranch has been on and off the market since 2016, when it was listed for $59 million.