This is a ghost town set in Bodie Hills, Mono County, California and is a historic district that the U.S. Department of the Interior has since recognized as a National Historic Landmark. This was once a vibrant town filled with life but as the California Parks Department would put it; one that is in a “state of arrested decay,” – it has since become a ghost town.
When the mines in this region finally closed, the town was abandoned but it has been preserved as it was those days till now and some of the buildings you will find standing in the area when you visit are the private residences as they were in the former days, the schoolhouse and post office.
You will also be able to view how a barber shop, store buildings and a bar looked like those days. A group of prospectors, W.S. Bodey being one of these discovered gold in the area in 1859 and this town started as a mining camp. Before he could see the establishment of this town that took after his name, on his way to Monoville carrying supplies, Bodey died in a blizzard. Monoville is close to the current Mono City, California.
Eventually, the area changed the name from Bodey when a painter in a nearby town lettered a sign “Bodie Stables.” “The Bodie Miner” which was the Bodie newspaper was last printed in 1912 and this marked the official decline of the booming town. In 1913 the Standard Consolidated Mine closed down and the following year, mining profits had declined to $6,821.
In the wake of closing down nonessential gold mines by the United States through the War Production Board order L-208 in 1942, the last mine closed down and this was the end of mining activities at Bodie. The population of this town declined drastically after mining operations ceased in the area and it became a ghost town.
In 1961, the town was officially named a National Historic Landmark and the following year, it became Bodie State Historic Park. There are a total of 170 buildings in the former mining town currently and a visit to the place will unveil the heritage that lies within California’s Mono County.
Over 200,000 visitors make time yearly to visit Bodie and though there was a plan by the state’s Parks Closure Commission to close the ghost town in 2009 and 2010, a budget compromise was worked out that allowed its doors to remain open and the Bodie Foundation now takes care of all the affairs of this ghost town.
There are two routes that one can use to access Bodie and these are SR 270 and SR 167. The latter is very rough and in a poor state therefore rendering it almost impassable while SR 270 has only 3 miles of dirt road just before you get to the ghost town and is the best option for anyone willing to access the place and enjoy a walk on the deserted streets of this town. During winter, all roads to Bodie remain closed due to heavy snowfall therefore you need to take note of this as you plan your visit.