"Only the Rangers Remain..." Top 5 Page for this destination Bodie State Historic Park by SteveOSF
Bodie State Historic Park Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 239 photos
This is the largest ghost town in America. Over 170 building remain in varied states of decay. In 1962 Bodie was dedicated as a State Historic Park. It is also registered as a Historic Landmark.
The Park Services maintains the park in a state of “arrested decay”. Most of the building’s interiors are inaccessible, but you can wanderer throughout the park and peer in many windows. Spending time strolling among the ruins is like taking a step back in time.
This ghost town is large. Considering the size and condition of this fairly well preserved ghost town, I wonder if the preservation of so many structures is due to the town’s location, or the fact that it was relatively recently abandoned (1900s verses 1800s), or that there were once so many buildings that one would expect 170 buildings to have survived. Nevertheless, Bodie is a great place to spend a day.
The only was to gain access to Bodie is through the park. There is a small fee to enter the park. The park is large encompassing the town, mills, and surrounding area.
In 1859, William (a.k.a. Waterman) S. Bodey discovered gold, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, at what is now known as Bodie Bluff. In 1861 a mill was established and the town named after Bodey soon emerged. The town changed the spelling to Bodie to avoid mispronunciation. Unfortunately, Bodey perished in a snowstorm before seeing the growth of the town.
Bodie became a thriving mining town, and was the main town of Mono County. By 1879 Bodie claimed a population of about 10,000 people and had about 2,000 buildings. But it was far from a peaceful community. Fights, robberies, and killings were commonplace. It had 65 saloons and 7 breweries to help relieve the boredoms of everyday life. The town's reputation was such as to inspire a young girl, upon learning that her family was to move to Bodie, to write in her diary, "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie."
Eventually the amount of gold extracted from the mines began to dwindle, bursting this bustling town's bubble. Then in 1892 a fire ripped through much of the town. Another fire in 1932 provided more devastation. Then the Depression and World War II Era restrictions on gold ownership provided the final blow to the town and Bodie was abandoned.
About 170 building remain in Bodie. In 1962 Bodie became a State Historic Park. The Park Service now preserves the remains of the town in a state of "arrested decay." Bodie's only inhabitants are a few park rangers and creatures of the remote hills.
- Pros:Great historic getaway.
- Cons:A bit out of the way.
- In a nutshell:Bodie is one cool ghost town.
Your best bet for lodging near Bodie is the town of Lee Vining to the south. Lee Vining not only has lodging, but also... more travel advice
In 1885/86, this was the land office. Later it was the power company office. Finally, it was a boarding house. more travel advice
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