Nikon D300 ~ 18-200mm Nikkor lens
f8 ~ 1/60s ~ ISO 1000
Used NIK HDR and additional filters
taken in Bodie, California (US)
The Virtual Museum 2-3-13
Special Feature of the Week – Low Angle Photography 2-12-13
The Wild West Show 2-15-13
Was laying on my stomach peeking through a broken board close the ground to get a shot from this side of the building. I loved this old buggy!
Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California.
Bodie began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, including W.S. Bodey Bodey perished in a blizzard the following November while making a supply trip to Monoville (near present day Mono City, CA), never getting to see the rise of the town that was named after him. According to area pioneer, Judge J.G. McClinton, the district’s name was changed from “Bodey,” “Body,” and a few other phonetic variations, to “Bodie,” after a painter in the nearby boomtown of Aurora lettered a sign “Bodie Stables”. Gold discovered at Bodie coincided with the discovery of silver at nearby Aurora, Nevada, and the distant Comstock Lode beneath Virginia City, Nevada. But while these two towns boomed, interest in Bodie remained lackluster. By 1868 only two companies had built stamp mills at Bodie, and both had failed.
In 1876, the Standard Company discovered a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from an isolated mining camp comprising a few prospectors and company employees to a Wild West boomtown. Rich discoveries in the adjacent Bodie Mine during 1878 attracted even more hopeful people. By 1879, Bodie had a population of approximately 5000-7000 people and around 2,000 buildings. One idea maintains that in 1880, Bodie was California’s second or third largest city, but the U.S. Census of that year disproves the popular tale. Over the years, Bodie’s mines produced gold valued at nearly $34 million.
Bodie boomed from late 1877 through mid-to late-1880. California and Nevada newspapers predicted Bodie would become the next Comstock Lode. Men from both states were lured to Bodie by the prospect of another bonanza.
As a bustling gold mining center, Bodie had the amenities of larger towns, including two banks, four volunteer fire companies, a brass band, a railroad, miner’s and mechanic’s unions, several daily newspapers, and a jail. At its peak 65 saloons lined Main Street, which was a mile long. Murders, shootouts, barroom brawls, and stagecoach holdups were regular occurrences.
The first signs of decline appeared in 1880 and became obvious towards the end of the year. Promising mining booms in Butte, Montana; Tombstone, Arizona; and Utah lured men away from Bodie. The get-rich quick, single miners who originally came to the town in the 1870s moved on to these other booms, which eventually turned Bodie into a family-oriented community. Despite the population decline, the mines were flourishing, and in 1881 Bodie’s ore production was recorded at a high of $3.1 million. By 1910, the population was recorded at 698 people, which were predominantly families that decided to stay in Bodie instead of moving on to other prosperous strikes. The last mine closed in 1942, due to War Production Board order L-208, shutting down all gold mines in the United States. Mining never resumed.