Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - Hiking California

 

Bodie State Park is a historic gold mining ghost town in California, USA.

 

 

Following the morning hike to Gaylor Lakes above Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park and lunch in Lee Vining before driving north on Hwy 395 past Mono Lake towards Bridgeport, California

A right turn onto S.R. 270 and 13 miles (21 KM) of varied road leads to Bodie State Historic Park, the location of Bodie, California's last gold rush town, now a ghost town.  There is a modest entrance fee and the purchase of an inexpensive guide is worthwhile.  Bodie is at an elevation of 8,375 ft (2,553 m).

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA A view from the entrance to Bodie State Historic Park in California, USA

 

There is a wealth of Internet information about Bodie so this post will be primarily a photo essay.  The best and most representative photographs have been chosen from hundreds taken.  Enjoy!

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

 

The first home on our walking tour is Dolan House. The Dolan family spawned two Mono County Sheriffs around the turn of the century.  Subsequently this was the home of Frank McDonell.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

The only church left standing in Bodie is the 1882 Methodist Church at the corner of Green and Fuller Streets. The final service was held in 1932. The Catholic Church burned down in 1928.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

The interior of the Methodist Church is protected after being badly vandalized. The Ten Commandments painted on oilcloth (Thou shalt not steal), and hung behind the pulpit, was stolen.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA McDonald House subsequently owned by the Burkam family.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

Home of James and Martha Cain, married in Carson City, Nevada on September 17, 1879.  An influential businessman who became the town's principal property owner.  The home is on the corner of Green and Park Streets.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

The small sawmill was important for cutting firewood to survive brutal winters.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

The view north along Park Street with the butcher Charlie Donnelly's House first in the line. Charlie married English artist Annie Pagdin. The home was subsequently owned by E. W. Billeb and his wife Dolly who was the daughter of James and Martha Cain. The garden in front of house was the only green spot in town. It is said hops were the only green plants that could survive in Bodie.

 

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Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Ruins in the foreground with the ruins of the Mastretti Liquor Warehouse behind

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

Remaining buildings in Chinatown are a Chinese residence and Tong Sing Wo west of Bonanza Street, also known as "Virgin Alley" and "Maiden Lane". The ruins of the Mastretti Liquor Warehouse lies to the east.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Foreground ruins with a view to the Standard Mill Complex on the hill east of Bodie, California

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA

The Bodie Jail with the Stuart Kirkwood Livery Stable and blacksmith shop. From 1879 to 1880, Bodie's population peaked near !0,000 people

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The remains of the Bodie Bank which escaped the fire of 1892 but succumbed to the fire of 1932. The barred brick structure contains the vault.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Looking through the bars to the vault inside. Robbed on September 1, 1916 by 4 men who escaped with $4,000 in cash and jewelry.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The Masonic Hall, Bodie Lodge # 252. Received dispensation July 30, 1878 and charter October 16, 1879 with 13 members. Peaked at 93 members in 1882 and shut down in 1918.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA One of up to 30 mine shafts in Bodie. This one is in the foreground of the Standard Mine Stamp Mill

 

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Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA At photo left, the Dechambeau Hotel and Post Office - next to the I.O.O.F Hall # 279. First floor housed an undertaking business.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Gas pumps at the Boone Store and Warehouse

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The Wheaton and Hollis Hotel became the Power Company office and finished as a boarding house.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The front of the Boone Store and Warehouse

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Back at the Cain residence on the corner of Green and Park Streets.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Hydropower equipment exhibits as I leave Bodie Townsite for the cemeteries to the west.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA Looking back at Bodie on the approach to the four cemeteries

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The entrance to the Wards Area of the Cemetery.  The other three areas are the Chinese Area, north corner outside the fence, the Masonic Area to the south, and the Miners Union Area at the very south.

 

Although each burial site was photographed, only a few are shown that represent influence of immigrants and the hardship reducing lifespans, particularly the vulnerability of children.

 

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The Bodie morgue lies just to west of the entrance.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The Bodie morgue east of the entrance to the Cemetery site.

 

Behind and near the morgue, to the southwest, is a single tombstone for the burial site of Rosa May.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The 'Boot Hill' grave marker for Rosa May.

 

Bodie State Park - Ghost Town - California, USA The 'Boot Hill' grave marker for Rosa May.

 

Rosa May's story embodies only one notorious side of the story about life in Bodie.  Books have been written.  The stories are fascinating and a great amount of information has been preserved. 

California has designated the ghost town of Bodie as a State Historic Park and is doing a magnificent job of maintaining the site in arrested decay after years of abuse by vandals.  Continued funding is tenuous and assistance will benefit this rich historical location in the Bodie Hills

If you happen to be within striking range, consider spending a few hours, a day or two, in this historic and well-preserved site.  Buy something at the museum to support the cause.

Bodie State Historical Park is a fascinating place.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Thank you for your comment, Bill. Bodie is remarkably well preserved and a few of the buildings have been modified as inconspicuously as possible to house Bodie State Park staff and attractions. The gas station in Bodie was a Shell Oil Company station. The holes in the Shell sign are bullet holes. Bodie was notorious for bad and bawdy behaviour. I hope your boss enjoys the link to the past. Please send your boss the link and contact me on that if I can be of further assistance.

Bodie sure puts into perspective, how far society has changed over the last 100 years. Makes me wonder what will be in store in the future. I enjoyed the picture of the fuel pumps in Bodie. Couldn't help but notice the old Shell sign. I'll have to show this to my boss.

Good to hear from you, Ken. I believe Bodie is the largest and best ghost town I have had the opportunity to tour. It was one of the last in the California Gold Rush and was well developed in spite of its remote location in the Bodie Hills combined with very severe weather swings. The American Southwest, and northwest, is laced with mining ghost towns which spurred the movement of people from the east to the west coast in search of wealth. Some of my best missions throughout my life have been the search for ghost towns and researching their history. The larger towns are often microcosms of the scope of society from best to worst. Thanks for your comment.

Love those pics. Interesting place.

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