The Ghost Town of Bodie, CA.
Best Preserved Ghost Town in the United StatesPhotographs and text by Matthew Kiwala
Bodie is a fascinating spot. The only well preserved ghost town in the U.S., it sits a few miles away from Highway 395 in California. The closest towns are Lee Vining, alongside of Mono Lake, and Bridgeport. The town was originally saved from destruction from souvenir hunters by the original gold mining company that owned the property.
Currently tended by the California State Parks and Recreation Service, it is kept in a state of "arrested decay". This means that while the park employees do what they can to halt the ageing process, they will not do any outright repairs or maintenance to the buildings and their interiors. Only about 5% of the town now remains.
Bodie was named after Waterman S. Body who discovered gold in the surrounding hills in 1859. The spelling change was instituted by the citizens to insure proper pronunciation. By 1879, the town supported a population of over 10,000 people and was reputedly notorious throughout the west for the most wicked people, and the most wicked weather.