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OBITUARIES / Passings / William Anderson

Former owner of Ponderosa Ranch

June 14, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

William Anderson, 84, former owner of the Ponderosa Ranch western-themed tourist attraction on Lake Tahoe's north shore, died June 4 at his ranch house in Dayton, Nev., his family said.

Anderson opened the Incline Village park in 1968 and was its owner and president for more than 30 years.

It was the fictional home of the Cartwright family on NBC's "Bonanza" television show, starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker. The show's 428 episodes ran from 1959 to 1973.

Among other attractions, the park featured a replica of the Cartwright house and barn, a wax figure of Ben Cartwright, wagon rides, gold panning and food such as "Hoss" burgers.

The park closed in 2004 after the land was sold to high-tech billionaire David Duffield.

Born in Alhambra in 1923, Anderson opened a wrecking yard in San Lorenzo, near Oakland, at age 16 before becoming a paratrooper during World War II.

In the early 1960s, he moved a heavy-equipment business from San Lorenzo to Incline Village to assist in the Lake Tahoe community's development.

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