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Map of the Ponerosa Ranch seen at the start of every epsiode of the western 'Bonanza'

The Ponderosa Ranch is the home of patriarch Ben Cartwright and his three sons Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. The above illustration is seen in every opening of the western Bonanza as a flame consumes the map to reveal the stars of the show riding up on horseback.

According to The Travel Channel 2-hour special "TV Road Trip" (2002) hosted by John Ritter, the above Ponderosa map is not accurate. In reality, Carson City lies East of the Ponderosa, not North. To fix this mistake, the series producer David Dortort rotated the north-south orientation marker on the map to the left (instead of straight up and down) to compensate for the error. But since the TV series is fictional, and therefore its entire universe as well, there is no mistake. It's only a mistake, when we compare it to our own reality, on which the series is based. As a matter of western fiction, Carson City's position is just fine with me. 

Ponderosa Map


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