Bodie Revisited

“Miners, gamblers and business continued to flood the area and by 1879, Bodie boasted a population of about 10,000 and 2,000 buildings. Before long the town supported some 30 gold mines, 65 saloons, numerous brothels, gambling halls, and opium dens, as well, as a number of legitimate businesses, including three newspapers, several churches, a couple of banks and a school. Every other building on the mile long main street was a saloon. Three breweries worked day and night, while whiskey was brought into town in 100 gallon barrels.

“Like many booming mining camps, Bodie soon earned a reputation for violence and lawlessness. Killings were sometimes daily events and robberies, stage holdups and street fights were common occurrences in the camp.

“In its day, Bodie was more widely known for its lawlessness than for its riches. Of Bodie, the Reverend F.M. Warrington would describe it in 1881 as ‘a sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion.'” — Legends of America

Bodie has around 110 buildings remaining from a boom of 2,000 buildings in the late 1880s. On June 23, 1932, the second of two major fires destroyed more of the town, leaving what remains today.

Bodie has around 110 buildings remaining from a boom of 2,000 buildings in the late 1880s. On June 23, 1932, the second of two major fires destroyed more of the town, leaving what remains today.

The iconic Bodie Methodist Church -- its first service was on September 15, 1882.

The iconic Bodie Methodist Church — its first service was on September 15, 1882.

Looking west down Green St., from the J.S. Cain residence on the right, to the Methodist Church.

Looking west down Green St., from the J.S. Cain residence on the right, to the Methodist Church.

A vault inside the Bodie Bank: "Manufactured by Hall's Safe and Lock Co., Cincinnati and San Francisco, Hall's patents July 23 and Oct. 29, 1867." The bank had gone untouched by the 1892 fire, but wasn’t so lucky in the 1932 fire.

A vault inside the Bodie Bank: “Manufactured by Hall’s Safe and Lock Co., Cincinnati and San Francisco, Hall’s patents July 23 and Oct. 29, 1867.” The bank had gone untouched by the 1892 fire, but wasn’t so lucky in the 1932 fire.

The Moyle Brothers Warehouse was located just north of the bank, on Main St.

The Moyle Brothers Warehouse was located just north of the bank, on Main St.

A 1937 Chevrolet coupe is one of the many long-time residents of Bodie.

A 1937 Chevrolet coupe is one of the many long-time residents of Bodie.

Bodie was remote, materials were in high demand, and nothing could be wasted. Once empty, tin cans were cut open, flattened and used as building siding, or to seal a leaking roof.

Bodie was remote, materials were in high demand, and nothing could be wasted. Once empty, tin cans were cut open, flattened and used as building siding, or to seal a leaking roof.

A residential kitchen. Wallpaper seemed to be popular in town.

A residential kitchen. Wallpaper seemed to be popular in town.

Carol peeks inside Dr. Street's house on Green St. The building in the background with the bell tower is the school.

Carol peeks inside Dr. Street’s house on Green St. The building in the background with the bell tower is the school.

A ground floor school room in the two-story school house.

A ground floor school room in the two-story school house.

Empty tin cans converted into roofing material -- most likely, a hot tin roof.

Empty tin cans converted into roofing material — most likely, a hot tin roof.

The firebox for an air compressor boiler.

The firebox for an air compressor boiler.

Bodie beer bottles.

Bodie beer bottles.

A child's toy inside one of the homes.

A child’s toy inside one of the homes.

Maintenance instructions on an old Ford's valve cover.

Maintenance instructions on an old Ford’s valve cover.

Weathered wood with artsy-farty reflectorizing.

Weathered wood with artsy-farty reflectorizing.

The McDonell family plot in the Bodie graveyard.

The McDonell family plot in the Bodie graveyard.

Scallywags and ne'er-do-wells were buried outside the town's cemetery. Chinese residents were laid to rest in a separate cemetery.

Scallywags and ne’er-do-wells were buried outside the town’s cemetery. Chinese residents were laid to rest in a separate cemetery.

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