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 (120 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe. It is located 12 miles (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m). As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark. The ghost town has been administered by California State Parks since becoming a state historic park in 1962, and receives about 200,000 visitors yearly.
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 (first name uncertain). 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. According to area pioneer, Judge J.G. McClinton, the district’s name was changed from “Bodey,” “Body,” and a few other phonetic variations, to “Bodie,” after a painter in the nearby boomtown of Aurora lettered a sign “Bodie Stables” Gold discovered at Bodie coincided with the discovery of silver at nearby Aurora, Nevada, and the distant Comstock Lode beneath Virginia City, Nevada. But while these two towns boomed, interest in Bodie remained lackluster. By 1868 only two companies had built stamp mills at Bodie, and both had failed.
In the 1940s, the threat of vandalism faced the ghost town. The Cain family, who owned much of the land the town is situated upon, hired caretakers to protect and to maintain the town’s structures.
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.
Today, Bodie is preserved in a state of arrested decay. Only a small part of the town survives. 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. Bodie is open all year, but the long road that leads to the town is usually closed in the winter due to heavy snowfall, so the majority of visitors to the park come during the summer months.
The California State Parks’ ranger station is located in one of the original homes on Green Street.
In 2009, Bodie was scheduled to be closed, but the California state legislature was able to work out a budget compromise that enabled the state’s Parks Closure Commission to allow it to remain open, at least during the 2009–2010 fiscal year. The park is still operating as of July 2010.
Text from Wikipedia, Bodie, California