Bodie 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.
As 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.
The 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.
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.
I 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