Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bodie, CA

bodie california

Bodie, California is an authentic ghost town located in the Eastern Sierra region, near Mono Lake. It's history is rich with wild west lore, from the boom and bust gold mining, to the brothels and gambling houses, to the frequent alcohol-fueled violence. At its height, the town boasted 10,000 residents and over 60 saloons.

bodie california

Although only 5 percent of the buildings remain, this still amounts to about 100 structures. Stepping into the town on foot, it is remarkably easy to envision life there as it once was, bustling with people on their way to and from work, children attending school, folks running their errands, and in the evenings, men and women carousing and partying hard. Yet the "ghost" part of the town is striking as well. Peering through the windows of the various buildings, you get a glimpse of the everyday lives of the former residents. They lived, loved, worked, played, reproduced, and went through their routines, but now they are simply gone. The town itself is a real, live ghost of these people. A sort of enduring whisper of their former existence.

bodie california

bodie california

Bodie ghosted in the early 1900s, and by 1940 what was left of the town was threatened by vandalism. Thankfully, Bodie was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and a State Park in 1962. The park service now protects and maintains the buildings in a state of "arrested decay." Upon entry, visitors receive a park guide with detailed descriptions of the various buildings. It's easy to wander the town for hours as time seems at a standstill here in more ways than one.

bodie california

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