Photo story: Bodie

“And now my comrades all are gone; naught remains to toast. They have left me here in my misery, like some poor wandering ghost.”

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good ghost story so, on my recent trip to California, I was very happy to visit the old gold mining ghost town of Bodie.

“By 1879 Bodie boasted a population of about 10,000 and was second to none for wickedness, badmen, and ‘the worst climate out of doors.’ One little girl, whose family was taking her to the remote and infamous town, wrote in her diary: ‘Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie.’ The phrase came to be known throughout the West.” Bodie Foundation

The town was named after Waterman S Body (also known as William S Bodey), who discovered gold here in 1859. Apparently, there were plenty of street fights, robberies and stage-coach holdups, and regular deaths. The Reverend FM Warrington described it as “a sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lusts and passion.”

Of course, it lacked that kind of atmosphere on my visit – being empty and desolate – but I had such a great time wandering around this old town. I took photographs of broken-down cars and wagons, and buildings that were literally propped up by pieces of wood. The only thing that could’ve made it better would’ve been a visit after dark – when ghosts are more likely to be active – and if Sam and Dean Winchester had turned up to help me hunt some evil spirits.

*did I say that out loud? sometimes I confuse fiction with reality… it’s a problem*

Now, where was I? Oh right… Bodie! Here are a few photographs of my visit.

Bodie became a State Historic Park in 1962 and the Bodie Foundation is an organisation dedicated to preserve this historic town. For more information click here.


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