For some reason I have always been intrigued by ghost towns. I was excited when I realized that we had inadvertently picked a location to camp next to one of the best preserved ghost towns in California – the former mining town of Bodie.
Bodie was originally formed in 1859, but it wasn’t until 1876 that it really exploded, thanks to a large discovery of gold ore by the Standard Company. Bodie became a true Wild West town, with a population of about 10,000 by 1879. According to The Bodie Foundation, it was “second to none for wickedness, badmen, and ‘the worst climate out of doors.'” Killings, robberies, and street fights were all common occurences. Reverend F.M. Warrington described Bodie is a “sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion.” Sounds charming, doesn’t it? Today, about 100 buildings remain – only 5% of what originally stood.
The Standard Mill
The old Methodist Church is the only church still standing. The last service was held here in 1932.
There is a small museum that you can visit, that had two old stagecoaches inside, along with other interesting memorabilia.
We walked around Bodie for close to 3 hours, but we could have easily spent another couple of hours there. It was a fascinating place and I would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.
And as an added bonus, we just might have gotten this year’s Christmas picture out of the way!