Bodie Ghost Town

Christophe Testi

Mountain View, United States

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Artist's Description

Bodie began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by prospector W. S. Bodey (also spelled Body). That November, Bodey perished in a blizzard after making a supply trip to nearby Monoville.1 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 1880, Bodie boasted a population of nearly 10,000. Over the years, Bodie’s mines produced gold valued at more than $34 million.2 As a bustling gold mining center, Bodie had the amenities of larger towns, including two banks, a brass band, railroad, miner’s and mechanic’s unions, several 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.3 Legend has it that a little girl, upon learning that her family was moving there, prayed one night, “Goodbye God, we are going to Bodie.”4 But a local editor claimed she had really prayed, “Good! By God, we are going to Bodie.” Gold bullion from the town’s nine stamp mills was shipped to Carson City, Nevada by way of Aurora, Wellington and Gardnerville. Most shipments were accompanied by an armed guard. Once the bullion reached Carson City, it was delivered to the mint or sent by rail to the mint in San Francisco.

Artwork Comments

  • Karin  Hildebrand Lau
  • midzing
  • Angela Stewart
  • dairygirl
  • houk
  • Patito49
  • Scott Ruhs
  • judygal
  • annalisa bianchetti
  • F.A. Moore
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