The Wild West's best preserved ghost town
1859, prospectors chasing rumors of mineral wealth found
gold east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their discovery gave
rise to Bodie, one
of the West's wildest gold mining boomtowns. By 1880 the phrase
"Badman from Bodie" described the town's rambunctious
inhabitants, earning the community a reputation for violence that
rivaled Tombstone, Deadwood and Dodge City.
Bodie is a ghost town, preserved in a "state of arrested
decay" by the California Department of Parks and Recreation
as Bodie State Historic Park. Explore Michael Piatt's passion
for research, a window to a once-vibrant town left frozen in time.
right photos: Bodie, 1880 (detail), courtesy Mono County Historical Society;
Bodie State Historic Park, courtesy James C. Ritchie