Bodie, in the 1880s, was a thriving town of 10,000 people who came in search of gold after the decline of mining on the western side of the Sierras. Today, it's a ghost town, but one of the the best-preserved ghost towns in the United States.
Fire, time and the elements of weather have destroyed much of the town, but what is left takes you back to its heyday. Stark indications of life abound in curtains, tattered as they may be, still hanging in windows; a world globe, faded and bare of all print, in the window of the schoolhouse; tins and goods on the shelves of the general store.
Bodie was named after William S. Bodey who discovered gold there in 1859. The change in spelling was intentional by the citizens to assure the correct pronunciation.
Like many towns of those western days, Bodie had its fair share of wickedness and sin. It's said that one little girl wrote in her dairy, "Goodbye, God. I'm going to Bodie."
Today, the streets are quiet except for the visitors who perhaps hope the ghosts of the past remain in the long-empty houses and closed saloons.
The Bodie turn-off from Highway 395 is just south of Bridgeport. From there, a 13-mile dirt road leads to the ghost town.
To see more California or Highway 395 pages, return to the California home page.
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