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View of the mountains West of Bodie

The Ghost Town of Bodie, CA.

Best Preserved Ghost Town in the United States

Photographs and text by Matthew Kiwala

In it's heyday, Bodie is said to have been home to over 10,000 people, 30 mines, 3 breweries, and 65 saloons. Hard to believe when one visits as over of the town has vanished in various fires over the years.

The original mine was named Bunker Hill in 1861, and passed through several hands before being sold for $67,000 and being renamed as the Standard Company in 1877. The Standard Mine produced close to 15 million dollars over it's 25 year life and it's success caused a rush for gold to Bodie in 1878. The Standard mill was destroyed by a fire in 1898, but was quickly rebuilt. During the boom, the combined mines produced around $400,000 per month in gold. The overall total is estimated at $90 to $100 million.

Click on an image to see a larger one.
Interior of the Methodist Church.
Interior view of the undertakers.
Interior of the only surviving church, located near the entrance to town on Green St. (The walls don't bow out like that. It was shot with a 15mm lens.)
Interior view of the undertakers.
The vault of the Bodie Bank.
Interior of the Bodie Bank vault.
The vault of the Bodie Bank. Burned in the fire of 1932, the interior safe is still in excellent condition.
Interior of the Bodie Bank vault. Notice that it took either two or four people with combinations to open the vault.
Junked car.
Overview of the town from nearby peak.
In spring, even the junkyard looks good. I have a lot of images of this car as it's my favorite.
The same car, taken in late summer on Polapan.
Overview of the town from nearby peak.
Junked car.
Same spot, different camera.
The only problem with snowfall is that it tends to drift in front of the lens.

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All images and designs are 1996-2000 Matthew Kiwala & Magic Ink.