|The Matterhorn Crest of the Sierra Nevada from Bridgeport. Bodie is another twenty miles to the east.|
|The damage at the top of the brick building was from a 5.7 magnitude earthquake last year. It closed the park for several months.|
The mines were successful for a few decades, producing perhaps 2 million ounces of gold, but by 1913 the Standard Mine shut down, and people drifted away. 2,000 buildings were scattered across the valley, occupied by perhaps a few hundred people. A fire in 1932 destroyed most of the buildings, but 167 of them survived. Concerns about vandalism led to the establishment of Bodie Historical State Park in 1962, and efforts were made to stabilize what buildings remained. What's left is one of the most picturesque ghost towns to be found in the American West. The only residents today are a few rangers, and the ghosts. I'm not usually superstitious, but I would be just a little creeped out living there. I see the signs that say that all visitors must be gone by nightfall, and I wonder...why?
|The Standard Mine mill and the once-proposed open pit mine on the hill beyond.|
The Bodie Hills are the remains of four stratovolcanoes that were active 8-14 million years ago. Hydrothermal activity around hot springs associated with the volcanism was responsible for the emplacement of the ores. Gold resources certainly remains, and because the gold claims were still valid, efforts were made in the 1990s to mine the hill above the town by way of open pit mining. Millions were expended in exploration and public relations, but eventually the lands were withdrawn from mineral speculation, and the ghosts of Bodie will be able to rest in relative peace.
If you want to visit, information about the park can be found here: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509.