Bodie is a gold rush ghost town near Lee Vining, CA. Gold was discovered in the nearby hills by Waterman Bodey in 1859. By 1879, there were 10,000 fortune-seekers in this infamously lawless town. While there was gold to be mined, they endured extreme summer temperatures, windstorms and winters that buried the buildings under several feet of snow. But as the gold seams dried up, people left and the final nail in Bodie's coffin was hammered in WWII when the non-essential ore mining laws put a stop to gold mining altogether.
As people abandoned their homes, others came to visit this dying town. Houses were sold to neighbours and objects were left on “display” in the windows.
Only 5% of Bodie now remains. Many of the buildings were burned down by fires, while others have fallen prey to the strong winds and deep winter snows. The town is now owned by the state government and preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. They treat the wood and maintain the roofs, windows and walls with existing supplies and reference to archive photos. The doors to the houses are locked and unsafe buildings are propped up, but otherwise, the place looks pretty much as it must have done when the last families left.
Here's a taste of what we saw:
|The Cain residence. This family made $90,000 in 90 days!|
|An Odd Fellow waits outside the Institute for the Gentleman's Gym to open. Might be there some time, then. Oh, hang on, it's Simon. He's got Culture Fatigue and is waiting for me to get on with it!!|