than a decade in the making, this important work by
Michael H. Piatt is the first book to tell the complete
story of Bodie — from the arrival of prospector W.S.
Body in 1859 to the quiet departure a century later
of the dying town's last residents.
Tracing the rise and fall of the famous ghost town,
Bodie: "The Mines Are Looking Well . . ."
unravels the mystery of the mines that determined
the town's fate. Woven into this golden narrative
are tales of life in a remote rough-and-tumble community
- lively accounts of fortunes won and lost, stock
market shenanigans, engineering marvels, and the
continuous challenge of extracting precious metals
from the earth.
The sources used to uncover these dramatic stories
include newspapers from Bodie and neighboring towns,
mining journals, government reports, and publications
by technical societies. Principle among eyewitness
accounts are interviews with the late prospector,
miner, and mill hand, Robert T. Bell, the last person
to have worked in Bodie's mines.
In addition to an extensive photo
collection displaying more than 130 historic images,
the book includes maps, sketches, sidebars, detailed
source notes, and a glossary of Bodie's mining terms.
Mill, Bodie State Historic Park
Mill Interior, Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie State Historic Park
Francis H. Frederick collection, courtesy
California Division of Mines and Geology