Bodie history link

Bodie essays link

Bodie history book link

Bodie, California   history and research on Bodie, California

The Wild West's best preserved ghost town

In 1859, prospectors chasing rumors of mineral wealth found gold east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their discovery gave rise to Bodie, one of the West's wildest gold mining boomtowns. By 1880 the phrase "Badman from Bodie" described the town's rambunctious inhabitants, earning the community a reputation for violence that rivaled Tombstone, Deadwood and Dodge City.

Today Bodie is a ghost town, preserved in a "state of arrested decay" by the California Department of Parks and Recreation as Bodie State Historic Park. Explore Michael Piatt's passion for research, a window to a once-vibrant town left frozen in time.
Above right photos: Bodie, 1880 (detail), courtesy Mono County Historical Society; Bodie State Historic Park, courtesy James C. Ritchie