When Ree Drummond launched her Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog back in 2006, she had no idea how famous she was about to become. In her blogs about life on an Oklahoma ranch, Drummond regaled readers with anecdotes about her husband, fourth-generation rancher Ladd Drummond, and home-schooling her four kids. Life on a ranch isn’t easy, but Drummond’s ability to see the bright side made her blog a super success. So, how big is the Drummond ranch? The answer may surprise you.
After reaching the pinnacle of blogging success, Drummond purchased a century-old building in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The Drummonds spent several years rehabbing the old structure which they dubbed The Mercantile. Today, ‘The Merc,’ as Food Network fans call it, welcomes several thousand visitors every day. In fact, the 25,000 square foot Mercantile is the most popular attraction in the small town that sits around 100 miles from Oklahoma City. Despite it’s great size, it’s nowhere near as big as the Pioneer Woman’s ranch.
According to her bio at the Food Network, Drummond’s blog grabs the attention of at least 20 million visitors every month. The blog is so big, it was named Weblog of the Year three years in a row. But it’s still not as big as the Pioneer Woman’s family ranch in Pawhuska.
Ree’s other activities
When not writing her popular blog, Drummond writes books. A lot of books. Not long after publishing The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, the culinary how-to tome raced to the top of the bestseller charts. In 2011, Drummond released her autobiographical memoir, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story which debuted at the prestigious #2 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. Drummond’s Charlie and the Ranch Dog premiered at number one, explains Southern Living magazine.
Ree: The early years
Born Anne Marie Smith January 6, 1969, Oklahoma native Ree Drummond grew up in Bartlesville with two older brothers, Mike and Doug, and a younger sister named Betsy. After graduating from Bartlesville High School in 1987, she enrolled in college in Los Angeles, California. Her first major was journalism, but she switched her major to focus on gerontology, or the study of aging. The future blogger had every intention of going to law school after graduating from college, but that all changed when she fell in love and married the Oklahoma cattle rancher she now lovingly refers to as her Marlboro Man.
“He was just completely different than all the boys I’d been crazy about. I don’t mean to make it sound like Maria and Tony in West Side Story, but I was just sort of like ‘Oh boy!’ My knees were weak.”
The couple married in 1996 and have four children: Alex, Bryce, Paige, and Todd.
So, how big is the Pioneer Woman’s ranch?
We know you’ve been waiting, so here’s the answer: At a whopping 433,000 acres, Ree’s cattle ranch in Pawhuska Oklahoma is the 17th largest privately owned ranch in the country. The Drummonds own the majority of the acreage but also lease a portion of the working ranch from other individuals. The Drummond ranch sits surrounded by land that is owned by the Osage tribe.
“There’s plenty to do -and eat- both inside The Merc and around Osage County, and we’d love to have you in our neck of the woods. Bring your sweetie, bring your mom, bring your cousins, bring a group of old friends. We want you to enjoy the heck out of The Merc and Pawhuska!”