Bodie, In a State of “Arrested Decay”

Walking through the streets of Bodie, one can’t help feel transported in time to the period of the ghost town’s heyday in the mid 1800s. For photographers of mining towns, ghost towns and historical places; Bodie stood as one of the premier places to shoot because of how much of its buildings and structures withstood the passage of time.

Before the two fires in 1892 and 1932, the main street in Bodie stretched for 1 mile long. What’s left are about 100 structures maintained by the state of California when it took over the property as a historic park.

What’s in the Name

When W. S. Bodey’s discovery in 1859 sparked a gold rush, the town of Bodie was founded around the area of his find. The discrepancy in the spelling was brought about by a mistake or error made by a sign maker assigned to paint the name on a livery stable. There’s not enough room for the letter “y” in “Bodey”, and painted the space saving “Bodie” instead. 

Getting There

Take the 270, a road that branches east of the 395 midway between the towns of Lee Vining and Bridgeport. At the end of the 10 mile paved and 3 mile unpaved road is the Bodie State Historic Park.


The Buildings of Bodie

The Curse of Bodie

When visiting the ghost town, “don’t be that person who takes keepsakes or the curse of Bodie will be upon you.”, as claimed by the superstitious or by the rangers that wanted to scare off would be transgressors. The curse is said to bring bad luck to any artifact thieves who bring home anything as small as a nail or as big as a piano. 

The curse can be lifted and the ghosts of the Bodie residents assuaged by returning the artifacts either personally or by mail.


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