Bodie ~ Best ghost town in California

P1020193Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. As a bustling gold mining center, Bodie had all the amenities, including a Wells Fargo Bank, four volunteer fire companies, a brass band, a railroad, miners’ and mechanics’ unions, several daily newspapers, and a jail. At its peak, 65 saloons lined Main Street. Murders, shootouts, barroom brawls, and stagecoach holdups were regular occurrences.

P1020210As with other remote mining towns, Bodie had a popular, though clandestinely important, red light district on the north end of town. From this is told the unsubstantiated story of Rosa May, a prostitute who, in the style of Florence Nightingale, came to the aid of the town menfolk when a serious epidemic struck the town at the height of its boom. She is credited with giving life-saving care to many, but was buried outside the cemetery fence.

P1020219The first label of Bodie as a “ghost town” was in 1915.In a time when auto travel was on a rise, many were adventuring into Bodie via automobiles. By 1920, Bodie’s population was recorded by the US Federal Census at a total of 120 people. Despite the decline, Bodie had permanent residents through most of the 20th century, even after a fire ravaged much of the downtown business district in 1932.

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Bodie is now an authentic Wild West ghost town. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park. A total of 170 buildings remained. Bodie has been named California’s official state gold rush ghost town.

P1020212I even found two of my favorite feathered friends lounging in the bicycle basket of the Bodie ranger.

 

 

And I was delighted to see a shepherd and his sheep and sheepdog on the way to this remote corner of California history. Photos are my own. Text thanks to Wikipedia on Bodie

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