BODIE GHOST TOWN CALIFORNIA: THE WILD WEST FROZEN IN TIME
The Bodie State Historic Park is one of the best “life frozen in time” gold rush, ghost town experiences I’ve had and the kind I seek when traveling.
The town of Bodie is named after William (a.k.a. Waterman) S. Bodey, who in 1859, while prospecting with three prospectors in this gold-laden valley, discovered gold in a stream bed near what is now called Bodie Bluff.
A mill was established in 1861 and the town began to grow. It’s beginnings were faltering until in 1875, Bodie’s luck changed when one of the mines caved in revealing a huge body of gold.
By its peak in 1879, Bodie had a population of 7,000–10,000, one of the biggest towns in this area at the time, and it produced more than $35 million in gold and silver.
By 1881, the mines began to deplete, and soon the population dwindled to about 1500 people. A kitchen fire in the summer of 1892 destroyed much of town to the west of main street.
By the 1890 hydraulic machinery bought a little more growth to Bodie, but by 1932 another fire wiped out most of the town. The last person left in the 1940s.
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