Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, is opening a new boutique hotel called “the Boarding House.” It looks nothing like a boarding house and just like all other boutique hotels, which is weird, when the perfectly charming house from the TV western Bonanza was available for ripping off.
USA Today has an extensive look at the “cowboy luxury” establishment, which offers eight rooms with themes ranging from butterflies to “boudoir.” Personally I would have gone purely for frontier bordello or Adam Cartwright’s living room, but then Drummond is the domestic goddess, not me.
It is a smart extension of the Drummond family brand, which deals in nostalgia taken upscale—but not so much so that it gives off that whiff of the “elite,” despite the fact that the Drummonds are enormous landowners. Ree’s husband Ladd is part owner of Drummond Land & Cattle Co, a family concern that goes back to the 19th century and extends to 433,000 acres. (The Drummond brand does tend to pop up on their products.)
Of course you might find it tough to sleep with all the ghosts of historical violence past traipsing through your room in Osage County, Oklahoma, at all hours of the night. The buildings that now house the Drummonds’ highly successful Mercantile restaurant and the new Boarding House were both built during the early 20th century oil boom, which sent money pouring into the area and made members of the Osage Indian Nation incredibly wealthy. As David Grann has detailed in his book Killers of the Flower Moon, many of them were then murdered in order to gain access to their wealth, and the federal government imposed white guardians to control how the Osage spent their money. The good old days were only good for “pioneer women,” and even they probably would have traded it all for a working washing machine.