Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills, which are east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California. Located at an elevation of over 8,000 feet, the summers are dry and cool and the winters bitter cold, conditions that help keep the town remarkably well preserved. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark and by California as a California Historical Landmark designated as Bodie State Historic Park. If you ever go there, be warned: the last few miles of road into the town are bone jarring rough.
Bodie began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, including W. S. Bodey, who died the next year while making a winter supply trip. In 1876, the Standard Company discovered a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from an isolated mining camp comprising a few prospectors and company employees to a Wild West boom town with the usual leaches of gamblers, saloon owners and prostitutes. But ore deposits are fickle and the period of Bodie’s success (when there were 7,000 people housed in 2,000 homes) was a short 4 years. As the profits from mining petered out, so did the townspeople, the last four leaving just after World War II. The result is a true ghost town…things left exactly where they were, as they were, when the residents left.
Before viewing the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.
All photographs and comments ©2014 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.