Ghost Town Explorer
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BODIE CALIFORNIA
Could this have been the wildest town in the old west?

State Protected Ghost Town
Mono County
Circa 1859 to 1940's

The Ghost Town of Bodie derived its name from prospector William S. Bodey who found a rich ore vein near the current town site while exploring with two other prospectors on a July day in 1859. The hardy prospectors built a cabin near a spring not far from their find where they began working their claim. As winter approached, the two remaining inhabitants, William Bodey and E. S. Taylor, also known as “Black Taylor” found themselves short of supplies and food. They had no choice but to venture out in to the cold winter storm and re-supply at Monoville. On their return trip they became lost in the blizzard and William lost his life. Collapsing from exhaustion, he froze to death before Taylor could return for him. William Bodey never saw the fruits of his labor.

Other prospectors came and left over the next few years. But the town of Bodie did not officially boom until 1879 when the Standard Mine struck a rich vein. Historians and writers have indicated that 10 thousand people called Bodie home during its peak years.
Sometime during its boom years the original Bodey name was misspelled in an advertisement, thus taking on the spelling of Bodie.

There are hundreds of stories surrounding the history, people and events of this wonderful ghost town that is now protected by the state park system. Certainly more than there is room for here. Stories of Indian inhabitants, the military, Chinese, business people, miners, sickness, and determination, however, what stands out the most is the amount of conflict, lawlessness and death that took place here over 100 years ago. Are these stories true? Could Bodie be considered the wildest most dangerous town in the west?

The Prominent Cain family was the last with interest in the town as it met its declining days, and hired a watchman to oversee the town through the 1940's, but hope and attempts at a revitalization slowly slipped away along with the lives of those who so dearly kept a place in their hearts for it.

I am so fortunate to know family friends of the Bodie Cain family. It is always a pleasure to meet with Ms. Cloud-Steele, who recently turned 99 years old. The stories are fascinating, unfortunately many of them untold will eventually parish with those whom keep them. My prayers are with her family, and always will be.



Ghost Town Explorer
Jim Cain at his Bodie Bank Circa 1920's
Donated by Doc Watson - in memory of Wally Davis

Ghost Town Explorer
Jim Cain in his Bodie Bank Circa 1920's
Donated by Doc Watson - in memory of Wally Davis

Ghost Town Explorer
Bodie Gas Pumps Circa 1928
Donated by Doc Watson - in memory of Wally Davis

Ghost Town Explorer
Bodie Fire House

Ghost Town Explorer
Bodie Bank on Main Street 



Ghost Town Explorer
View from town towards the Standard Mine/ Mill

Ghost Town Explorer
Bodie Toll House on the Aurora - Bodie Road east of town

Ghost Town Explorer
Prominant buildings remaining on main street include the I.O.O.F Building, and a saloon

Ghost Town Explorer
My Shot of the Bodie Bank

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