During the 70's Bonanza was shown regularly on BBC television and for young kids like myself it represented a thrilling recreation of the wild west.
Bonanza got its name from the Comstock Lode which was "an exceptionally large and rich mineral deposit" of silver. Virginia City was founded directly over the lode and was mined for 19 years. Ponderosa was an alternative title of the series, used for the broadcast of syndicated reruns while "Bonanza" was in first-run on NBC.
See full article at http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/2008/09/boyhood-idols-bonanza.html