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, lunch in Lee Vining precludes 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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apparently hops were the only green plants that could survive in Bodie.
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.
The Bodie Jail with the Stuart Kirkwood Livery Stable and blacksmith shop. From 1879 to 1880, Bodie's population peaked near !0,000 people
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.
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.
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.
At photo left, the Dechambeau Hotel and Post Office - next to the I.O.O.F Hall # 279. First floor housed an undertaking business.
Gas pumps at the Boone Store and Warehouse
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.
The Bodie morgue.
Behind and near the morgue, to the southwest, is a single tombstone for the burial site of 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.