Visiting Bodie, a real, live ghost town
As Halloween approaches, we thought we’d set the mood by skulking around the streets of Bodie, a State Historic Park that has been left in a state of “arrested decay.”
Only about five percent of the buildings Bodie contained during its 1880s heyday still remain. Today it stands just as time, fire and extreme weather have left it — a genuine California gold mining ghost town.
According to the California State Parks brochure, Bodie “was once knowns as the most lawless, wildest and toughest mining camp in the west. To walk the streets of this ghost town and peer into the windows of the remaining homes, businesses and sites is to be transported back to the days when Bodie was a thriving mining town.
Designated a State Historic Park in 1962, visitors can tour Bodie with a guide or on their own.
Now, we invite you to tour with us..if you dare! Mwahahaha!
If you go
Bodie is located about four hours from Davis; northeast of Yosemite National Park, seven miles south of the town of Bridgeport, it has an elevation of 8,375 feet. The last three miles to the park are a very rough dirt road.
Hours of operation:
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 15 to Oct. 31
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. to May 14
Ages 17+: $7 per person
16 to 6: $5
5 and under are free
Dogs may accompany visitors into the townsite, but they must be on a leash at all times.
For more info, call 760-647-6445 or visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509
More than 80 years have passed since the last service was held in this church. It served Bodie Methodists for 50 years on the corner of Green and Fuller streets. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
Coins thrown by visitors rest with ghosts on a bed in the Miller house. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
A man named Seiler lived in this house, and he owned a saloon on the corner of Union and Main streets. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
The Murphy House is one of the buildings visitors easily can peer inside on their tour of Bodie. Interiors remain as they were left, still furnished and stocked with goods, and the rangers with the California State Parks do not disturb the disarray. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
A dust devil swirls around Bodie. The School House in the foreground of this northwest view of central Bodie along Green Street was originally the Bon Ton Lodging House when built in 1879. The first school was burned down two blocks away by a 19th-century juvenile delinquent. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
A cloud creates a shadow in the far valley past the Occidental Barn. Weather extremes in Bodie range from warm with high temperatures in the 80s during summer, and winter temperatures dipping below zero, with snow drifts up to 20 feet high. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
A quick peek into a dusty window finds open caskets in the Morgue. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo