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Bodie California photos

Alleyway in Bodie, California ghost town

Ghost town alleyway

Bodie, California is a former mining town, turned ghost town. Taken over by California's state park system, its approximately one hundred remaining structures, down from 2,000 in its heyday, are in a state of natural decay. While visiting Bodie, many people also stop off at Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park since they're fairly close.

This alleyway is in the north-western part of town, which neighbored the town's Chinatown. In the late 1800s, a few hundred Chinese residents worked in Bodie's mines, some operating opium dens.

Abandoned house in Bodie, California ghost town

Abandoned house

This small house is unnamed, but it's the most picturesque in my opinion. It's located on the eastern side of town, beside the mining mill. Bodie's miners pulled about $34 million of gold out of the nearby hills.

Boone General Store in Bodie, California ghost town

Boone General Store

Bodie's population once exceeded 5,000 people, so multiple stores popped up around town to support the boom. Boone Store, the only one still standing today, was built in 1879 and was operated by Harvey Boone, a cousin of pioneer Daniel Boone.

Reddy house in Bodie, California ghost town

Reddy house

This house was owned by Patrick Reddy, a lawyer who helped wronged miners bring suits against the mining companies.

Today, ragged drapes hang in the empty house's windows, giving it a haunted feel. There's multiple ghost stories associated with Bodie, but the most common is the "Bodie Curse," which is said to afflict visitors that steal items from the town, like nails, bottles, or silverware.

Old lantern in Bodie, California ghost town

Rusted lantern

Because of Bodie's state of "natural decay," few buildings can be entered due to structural reasons. The Miller House, located near the park's entrance, is one exception. It consists of a living room, kitchen, and bedroom. This rusted lantern hung over the kitchen table.

Swazey Hotel in Bodie, California

Swazey Hotel

Sitting on Bodie's main drag, the Swazey Hotel has a noticeable lean to the right; also, one of its upper windows is open, making it appear one-eyed. It's one of the most photographed buildings in the town, like after the church. Parked outside is a dilapidated horse-drawn cart.

Interior of Bodie Methodist Church

Bodie Methodist Church

Bodie Methodist Church was built in 1882. You're prohibited from entering the church, but can look over its gated door. Seeking good luck, some visitors toss coins into an offering plate near the entrance. A phrase over the pulpit reads: "Praise Waiteth for Thee o God in Zion." The town had other churches, but they burned during the town's large fires.

Metal door on Bodie, California abandoned building

Boarded-up metal door

With the exception of Bodie's few wealthy citizens, many of the town's residents lived in structures that were pieced together from scrap metal and wood. Curb appeal came second to building a home that would withstand the area's harsh climate. Bodie, at 8,400 feet of elevation and located on a plateau, is hit with harsh storms and sees most of its nights below freezing.

Bodie ghost town firehouse

Bodie firehouse

In addition to crashes in the gold price, fire was one of the main culprits in Bodie's downfall. The town suffered through a few major fires, which required rebuilding large portions of the town. Its firehouse was outfitted with a bell that rang when fire broke out. Today, inside the building is an old fire engine and a wall lined with rusty lanterns.

Burkham house in Bodie, California ghost town

Burkham house

The Burkham house sits on a hill, adjacent to the mining operation, and provides a nice vantage point of the town. It's one of the nicer homes in Bodie, with a bay window and covered porch.

Surrounding the house are sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata, and rabbitbrush, Ericameria nauseosa. The pollen from these often trigger allergy symptoms in many people.

Bodie Miners' Union Hall

Miners' union hall

The fields between Bodie's buildings are littered with old wooden boards, nails, broken glass, and metal scrap. Pictured across from the boards are Bodie's Miners' Union Hall and Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall. The park's visitor center is beside these.

Leaning outhouse in Bodie, California ghost town

Leaning outhouse

Outhouses accompany some of the remaining buildings in Bodie. This one, propped up by a board, was near the town's mining mill. As an homage to these buildings, some of the park's restrooms consist of a porta potty inside a wooden outhouse shell.

Fouke house in Bodie, California ghost town

Fouke house

The Fouke house, with its distinctive red entryway, sits on the outskirts of the southern part of town. While there's pathways to most of Bodie's popular attractions, you're allowed to tromp through the brush anywhere you like. Shoes are recommended since there's plenty of rusty nails, broken glass, and other debris strewn everywhere.