This week’s city to highlight is Bodie, California.
Once a city bustling with 10,000 people and a city carrying over $75million in gold, now named California’s official state gold rush ghost town.
This town in the Bodie Hills began as a mining camp after the discovery of gold in 1859. This attracted many hopefuls and the population grew in 1879 to 5000-7000 people. In 1880 Bodie was said to be California’s second or third largest city, but that year showed the first signs of decline with so many mines popping up in the nearby states. In 1910 the population was recorded at 698 people. Bodie was first labeled as a “ghost town” in 1915. In 1920 Bodie’s population was recorded by the Census at a total of 120 people. A fire ravaged much of the downtown business district in 1932. In the 40s the Cain family owned much of the town and put their efforts into maintaining the town’s structure.
Today this authentic Wild West ghost town is one of California’s State Parks. Bodie was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Only a small part of the town survives with decaying buildings, deserted streets, and an exposed plateau of grass. A total of 170 buildings remain. If you take a peek into the buildings, the interiors still remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Due to heavy snowfall, visitors usually visit during the summer months.