Finally we arrived the place I have wanted to visit for years: Bodie the Ghost town. Till this point to this trip we have seen Calico and Ballarat. Both of them were quite big disappointments, but this wasn’t. I loved it. I wish I would have been better prepared to that place. I thought it was same like others, one or two houses and the famous car, but I was so wrong. There was over 100 houses and few cars more. It was really big town and it was fantastic. I wish I would have take my launch with me so we could have done a picnic in there and so on. I really truly recommend this place to all to visit! Take your time, don’t include it to drive marathon day because this place deserves more time then just an hour or less. There’s no words for how fantastic it was! So I let Wikipedia tell you some facts:
“Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m).
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, California), never getting to see the rise of the town that was named after him.
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.
Bodie boomed from late 1877 through mid- to late 1880. The first newspaper, The Standard Pioneer Journal of Mono County, published its first edition on October 10, 1877. It started out as a weekly, but soon became a thrice-weekly paper. It was also during this time that a telegraph line was built which connected Bodie with Bridgeport and Genoa, Nevada.
As a bustling gold mining center, Bodie had the amenities of larger towns, including a Wells Fargo Bank, four volunteer fire companies, a brass band, a railroad, miners’ and mechanics’ 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.
As with other remote mining towns, Bodie had a popular, though clandestine, red light district on the north end of town. From this is told the unsubstantiated story of Rosa May, a prostitute who, in the style of Florence Nightingale, came to the aid of the town menfolk when a serious epidemic struck the town at the height of its boom. She is credited with giving life-saving care to many, but was buried outside the cemetery fence.
Bodie had a Chinatown, the main street of which ran at a right angle to Bodie’s Main Street, with several hundred Chinese residents at one point, and included a Taoist temple. Opium dens were plentiful in this area.
Bodie also had a cemetery on the outskirts of town and a nearby mortuary, which is the only building in the town built of red brick three courses thick, most likely for insulation to keep the air temperature steady during the cold winters and hot summers.
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. Two examples of this settling were the construction of the Methodist Church (which currently stands) and the Roman Catholic Church (burned about 1930) that were both constructed in 1882. Despite the population decline, the mines were flourishing, and in 1881 Bodie’s ore production was recorded at a high of $3.1 million. Also in 1881, a narrow-gauge railroad was built called the Bodie Railway & Lumber Company, bringing lumber, cordwood, and mine timbers to the mining district from Mono Mills south of Mono Lake.
During the early 1890s, Bodie enjoyed a short revival seen in technological advancements in the mines that continued to support the town. In 1890, the recently invented cyanide process promised to recover gold and silver from discarded mill tailings and from low-grade ore bodies that had been passed over. In 1892, the Standard Company built its own hydroelectric plant approximately 13 miles (20.9 km) away at Dynamo Pond. The plant developed a maximum of 130 horsepower (97 kW) and 3,530 volts alternating current (AC) to power the company’s 20-stamp mill. This pioneering installation marked one of the country’s first transmissions of electricity over a long distance.
In 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 first signs of an official decline occurred in 1912 with the printing of the last Bodie newspaper, The Bodie Miner. In a 1913 book titled California tourist guide and handbook: authentic description of routes of travel and points of interest in California, the authors, Wells and Aubrey Drury, described Bodie as a “mining town, which is the center of a large mineral region” and provided reference to two hotels and a railroad operating there. In 1913, the Standard Consolidated Mine closed. Mining profits in 1914 were at a low of $6,821. James S. Cain was buying up everything from the town lots to the mining claims, and reopened the Standard mill to former employees, which resulted in an over $100,000 profit in 1915. However, this financial growth was not in time to stop the town’s decline. In 1917, the Bodie Railway was abandoned and its iron tracks were scrapped. The last mine closed in 1942, due to War Production Board order L-208, shutting down all nonessential gold mines in the United States. Mining never resumed.
The first label of Bodie as a “ghost town” was in 1915. In a time when auto travel was on a rise, many were adventuring into Bodie via automobiles. The San Francisco Chronicle published an article in 1919 to dispute the “ghost town” label. By 1920, Bodie’s population was recorded by the US Federal Census at a total of 120 people. Despite the decline, Bodie had permanent residents through most of the 20th century, even after a fire ravaged much of the downtown business district in 1932. A post office operated at Bodie from 1877 to 1942.
Bodie is now an authentic Wild West ghost town. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park. A total of 170 buildings remained. Bodie has been named California’s official state gold rush ghost town.
Only a small part of the town survived, with about 110 structures still standing, including one of many once operational gold mills. Visitors can walk the deserted streets of a town that once was a bustling area of activity. Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods.
Thank you for joining in again for this road trip!
Lopulta saavuimme paikkaan, jossa olen halunnut käydä vuosia: Bodien aavekaupunki. Tällä matkalla olimme nähneet jo Calico ja Ballaratin aavekaupungit, mutta molemmat olivat varsin suuria pettymyksiä, mutta tämä ei ollut. Rakastin sitä. Kunpa olisi ollut paremmin valmistautunut vierailuun. Luulin, että se oli samanlainen kuin toiset, yksi tai kaksi taloa ja se kuuluisa auto, mutta olin niin väärässä. Siellä oli yli 100 taloa ja muutamia autoja enemmän. Se oli todella iso kaupunki ja se oli fantastista. Toivottavasti pääsen käymään siellä vielä uudestaan, silloin voisi ottaa ihan piknik tarvikkeet mukaan ja viettää siellä vähän pidemmänkin ajan kuin noin tunnin. Ei ole sanoja, miten fantastinen Bodie oli! Mutta ettei juttu mene puhtaasti minun hehkutukseksi, annetaan Wikipedialle vuoro kertoa muutama fakta Bodiesta.
“Bodie on aavekaupunki Kalifornian osavaltiossa Yhdysvalloissa. Se sijaitsee Sierra Nevada -vuoriston itäisillä rinteillä Monon piirikunnassa, noin 80 kilometriä kaakkoon Tahoejärveltä, 2 550 metrin korkeudessa.
Kaupungin perusti William S. Bodey (alias Waterman S. Body), ja kaupunki nimettiin hänen mukaansa. Kaupungin perustamisen syynä oli Bodeyn vuonna 1859 tekemä kultalöytö. (Jaanan huomio: Bodie ites ei valitettavasti nähnyt kaupungin nousua, koska oli vuoden 1859 marraskuussa hävinnyt talvimyrkyn aikana tavaranhakureissulla) Vuonna 1877 Standard Oil Company löysi entistäkin rikkaamman kultasuonen, ja Bodie kasvoi 20 hengen kyläpahasesta vilkkaaksi 10 000 asukkaan kaupungiksi. Parhaimmillaan tuossa kultakaupungissa toimi jopa 60 saluunaa. Murhat ja tappelut olivat arkipäivää.
Bodie on aavekaupunkien joukossa epätavallinen siinä mielessä, että pieni osa väestöstä jäi kaupunkiin kultaryntäyksen päätyttyä ja kaivoksien sulkeuduttua. Suuri osa Bodien rakennuksista säilyi 1930-luvulle saakka, jolloin ne tuhoutuivat kaupungin keskustassa riehuneessa tulipalossa. Vuonna 1962 Bodiesta tuli osavaltion hallinnoimaa puistoaluetta, ja sitä ylläpidetään “pysäytetyn rappion tilaisena”
Nykyisin vain pieni osa kaupungista on jäljellä (Jaanan huomautus: noin kahdesta tuhannesta rakennuksesta noin 110 rakennusta on jäljellä). Rakennuksien sisustus ja jäljelle jääneet tavarat ovat yhä niillä sijoillaan. Bodie on määritelty kansalliseksi historialliseksi maamerkiksi.”
En voi tehdä mitään muuta kuin suositella. Räpsin aivan valtavasti valokuvia sieltä, koska miljöö on suorastaan ainutkertainen! Ottakaa aikaa, ottakaa juotavaa ja ruokaa ja viettäkää muutama tunti paikan päällä. Kertokaa vaikka kummitusjuttujakin, puitteet antavat kyllä siihen apua!
Kiitos jälleen kun liityitte seuraan!