Sunday, September 29, 2013

Goodbye God, I'm Going to Bodie

That is what one little girl wrote in her diary when her family moved here.

Today, Bodie is the best preserved ghost town in California. Gold was discovered here in 1859 and by 1879, the town boasted a population of about 10,000.

Only about five percent of the buildings still remain, including the Methodist Church, which the residents apparently really needed. In 1881, the Rev. Warrington saw Bodie as "a sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion."

The Ten Commandments, which once hung behind the pulpit ("Thou shalt not steal"), has been stolen.

Great rusty stuff abounds! I especially liked the old cars half buried in the grass.

Some of the buildings are not in the greatest shape - this one is propped up with a big board. California is maintaining the town in a state of "arrested decay,"

Hopefully, this electric pole will stay where it is...

The Bodie Odd Fellows Lodge (IOOF) used the upper floor of this building.

The buildings aren't open, but that doesn't stop anyone from seeing what's inside. (Don't worry, this isn't THE END!)

The first floor was an undertaking business. Many buildings were still furnished, including the morgue next door. I was a little skeptical about how this could be...

The Sam Leon Bar was just one of the 65 saloons in town. Here's one reason for my skepticism - why would people just leave their chips here?

The old barber shop -

And the Boone Store and Warehouse. The general store was owned by a descendant of Daniel Boone.

The mine area up on the hill is unsafe and not open to the public, except on a tour for extra $$. Between 1860 and 1941 the Bodie Mining District produced close to $100 million in gold and silver.

There was even an antique photographer here! (And I don't mean me...)


  1. 64 saloons!!I guess there wasn't much else to do there except mine and drink. With all that rusty stuff you should have been in hog heaven.

  2. Wonderful Bodie series. Excellent photos!

    Thinking about Bodie the other day -- recalled something Colin Fletcher wrote about it in a "Thousand-Mile Summer" -- an account of his 1958 solo hike from the Mexican border to the Oregon border. Colin walked through Bodie on the trek -- was wondering how much Bodie would have changed in the last half century since Colin hiked through.

    Really enjoyed your caption: "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie." -:)

    If memory serves me correctly,(no sure bet these days) Mark Twain also used that expression -- or more precisely -- a variation of it -- only attributing it to a young girl whose family was moving from Texas to Missouri. Think Twain put it something like this (not a direct quote) -- "You know, that girl didn't say: "Goodbye God, I'm going to Missouri" -- what she said was -- "Good, by God, I'm going to Missouri." -:)

    Happy Trails.
    -Gary Robertson

  3. What a cool place. I am shocked that those buildings haven't been vandalized and picked clean by now.

  4. Will have to check this out on a trip up the 395 one day soon. Thanks for the great pictures.

  5. Recently found your blog. I love what you did with the modifications to your trailer - i don't think dinettes are very practical either. I am going to start full timing early 2014 and you have given me added inspiration and many good ideas. Thanks & safe travels to you.

  6. This place looks wonderful- we went to Randsburg last year- a living ghost town!
    Thanks for sharing


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