Bodie State Historic Park Things to Do

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    Leaning structure!
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Most Recent Things to Do in Bodie State Historic Park

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    Bodie Cemetery- say a prayer!

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 18, 2011

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    Rosa Elizabeth White
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    Make sure to hike over and visit the cemetery. Only those so called respectable folks were buried here and those who were supposely not, were burried outside the fence and most of those sadly do not have markers, so be careful where you walk please. They consist of Wards, Masonic, Miners Union, and Chinese Cemetery.

    I am glad people venture to the cemetery because this way no one will ever be forgotten. Be sure to check out the map to see where the different locations and be sure to pay some respects to Head Stones 78 of Rosa May (white Marker), which was placed incorrectly by some nice folks who were not sure where she was burried, but some other nice folks think they found her correct spot from old photographs and rebuilt her crib area back in the 1970's.

    So when you see the White Marker Rosa May, look just across from it and you will see her correct site,Rosa May Whitewooden marker with a wood crib and please do not confuse her with Rosa Olague, a whole different person.-Badwomen of Bodie

    She was buried outside the boundary because of their previous profession. I say who cares because we all are human.

    Map of Cemetery

    Burials of people with questionable reputations

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    Dog Town California Historical Marker#792

    by Yaqui Written Oct 17, 2009

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    The plaque reads: Site of the first major gold rush to the eastern slope of California's Sierra Nevada, Dog Town derived its name from a popular miners' term for camps with huts or hovels. Ruins lying close to the cliff bordering Dog Town Creek are all that remain of the makeshift dwellings which formed part of the 'diggins' here.

    On each side of this marker are other memorial markers dedicated to the hardy souls who mined and homesteaded this area.

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    the losing fight against fires

    by richiecdisc Updated Sep 28, 2009

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    lucky to not have burned down

    Bodie grew to be a fairly large city with a population of over 10,000 but most of the buildings were made of wood. A big fire destroyed much of it in 1992 even though the town felt prepared to deal with such catastrophes when it build a fire hydrant system in 1880. Though there was plenty of water, it appears the system was clogged due to improper maintenance. A second fire in 1932 was even more devastating and wiped out everything except what remains today.

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    Bodie springs up

    by richiecdisc Updated Sep 28, 2009

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    Bodie back before color film ;)

    As with most ghost towns, Bodie sprung up when something valuable was found in the vicinity and people flocked from elsewhere to capitalize it. The lucky guy was named Bodey though it appears the spelling “Bodie” was adopted by the general populace after a sign painter thought it looked prettier. Of course, the remaining ingredient is for that valuable commodity to dry up in some way, be it depleted or lose its usefulness. In Bodie's case, it started out as quartz in 1859 and from the original mining of that they accidentally found a gold ore deposit in 1877. In the interim, a couple married and gave birth to the first child to be a true Bodie native, Daniel Horner in 1869. The rest as they say is history or at least folklore.

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    tombstone blues

    by richiecdisc Written Sep 28, 2009

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    open for panorama

    Bodie Cemetery is quite interesting and well worth the short walk up to see it. There are 80 tombstones and some tell quite sad stories about the hardships of pioneer life. Many children died at very young ages. Besides getting a better idea of life in Bodie you also get a nice view of the town from up on the hill as well as the mining area acting as a backdrop for the scenic town.

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    austere times

    by richiecdisc Written Sep 28, 2009

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    another wooden wonder that made it to today
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    The Methodist Church was built in 1882 and is perhaps the most impressive structure in town. It is sadly the only remaining church and has not had a service since the 1932 fire when most of the population left. The simple wooden interior tells of an austere time and is a far cry from the often overly decorative Catholic churches in Europe.

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    California Historical Markers

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 12, 2009

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    The plaque reads: NO. 341 BODIE - Gold was discovered here in 1859 by Wm. S. Bodey, after whom the town was named, and the town became the most thriving metropolis of the Mono country. Bodie's mines produced gold valued at more than 100 million dollars. Today a state park, Bodie is one of the best known of the west's 'ghost towns.

    California Historical Landmark No 341

    The plaque reads:
    During the California gold rush, E Clampus Vitus was a fraternal order and benevolence society for miners. It was rumored to be one of the secret societies in the town of Bodie during its heyday.

    Today, ECV is dedicated to the preservation of California history and accordingly, members of the present day Bodie chapter were instrumental in preserving the town as a historical landmark. With their help in 1956, legislation was drafted to add Bodie to the state park system. By 1962 the process was complete and one year later, Bodie was included in the National Registry of Historic Sites. In 1964, during an elaborate ceremony, Bodie was dedicated as a state park.

    Unfortunately, after 34 winters, several of the monuments unveiled during that ceremony were damaged – prompting a return to Bodie.

    This original monument was repaired, relocated, and rededicated as a California sesquicentennial event.

    Bodie Chapter No. 64, E Clampus Vitus, September 12, 1998

    Bodie Chapter No. 64, E Clampus Vitus

    National Register Historical Landmark
    The plaque reads: Has been designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark. Under the provision of Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935. This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of United States.
    U.S. Department of Interiors
    National Park Service
    1963

    BODIE HISTORIC DISTRICT (N66000213)

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    Bodie State Historical Park

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 6, 2009

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    The past is still alive!
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    This once lively High Sierra mining town inherited it name from William S. Body, yes I know, not the same spelling, but the towns’ folk wanted to insure it was supposedly pronounced right according to historians. Gold was discovered here in 1859 by Mr. Body. By 1879 during it most notorious hey day, it boasted a population of ten thousand and 2,000 buildings. The town sadly was ravaged by two fires although it was rebuilt after the 1892 fire, the second fire in 1932 only left behind 5 percent of its original buildings. By the 1940's is became a ghost town.

    Once here, I hope you take the time to wonder around the hills and taken in the beauty this place holds. Though you cannot go into most of buildings you can look in all the windows and see what the folks left behind. Your thinking why would they leave so much behind? It was cheaper to buy items once they resettled than it was to have them shipped out or maybe they just didn't care for them, who knows. So make sure you pick up a brochure from the rangers at the gate, enjoy your stay and try to take the past.

    Please look at the state park site:
    Bodie State Historic Park

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    W. S. Bodey

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    W. S. Bodey

    In the cemetery, a large slab of granite reminds the memory of Waterman S. Bodey that gave his name to the town. He was among the first group of prospectors that found gold in Spring 1859. Unfortunately, he died a few month later, in November, lost in the blizzard.

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    Modern grave

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Modern grave

    Bodie was still inhabited in 192, when the industrial district of the town burnt. It seems that it was inhabited until WWII. Thus there are a few relatively modern graves.

    The one on the photo seems to have been built recently and is kept in perfect condition though it is for someone that died in 1901.

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    Leaning grave

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Leaning grave

    Graves are other structures that often lean strongly in Bodie. In both cases, toilets and graves, the soil has been dug underneath. The soil of graves takes years and years to tamp and as it will not tamp evenly, the grave leans. Same do the toilets: even if the tank underneath was almost full, after decades, it will collapse more or less and carries with it the superstructure.

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    Collapsed buildings

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Collapsed buildings

    Some of the houses are leaning, other have leaned so much that they have finally collapsed: at an elevation of 2,550 meters, in Winter there is a heavy coat of snow for several month and the winds can be terrible (up to 160 kmh-100 mph). Each Spring, there is a lot of repairs to do for the Park Rangers. The park service is in charge of the town since1962 and keeps it as it was then : nothing will be restored, but all that was standing is kept and preserved.

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    Family restroom!

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Family restroom!

    Ready for use by father, mother and little boy (girl?)! The holes are so close to one another that each of them must have been very slim! That would not fit with the size of many modern visitors!

    This photo reminds me of the story of a traveler, lost for hours in a very thick fog that finally reaches a wooden door. That might have happened in Bodie. He knocks at the door and a little voice answers “yes”.
    The traveler: “I am lost, I am cold, please, open the door for me”
    The boy: “I can’t, my parents told me not to open to strangers”
    The traveler: “then, would you call your father?”
    The boy: “no, my father went out when my mother came in”
    The traveler: “then, would you call your mother?”
    The boy: “no, my mother went out when my big brother came in”
    The traveler: “then, tell you big brother to open me”
    The boy: “no, my big brother went out when my sister came in”
    The traveler: “then, tell you sister to open me”
    The boy: “no, my sister went out when I came in”
    The traveler: “Hell, what is this house where each one goes out when the other one comes in?”
    The boy: “Oh, this is not our house, this is the restroom, out in the backyard”

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    Leaning structure!

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Leaning structure!
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    In Bodie, many structures lean more or less as they have been built fast, not always with a “state of the art” basement. However, I was puzzled by this tiny little house with an exhaust on top, that leant strongly on the left. What was it designed for? Let us have a look inside (next tip)

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    Horseless stable

    by JLBG Written Feb 12, 2009

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    Horseless stable
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    The first photo shows a compound of two large houses. It seems that it has been one of the many stables that were built in Bodie, as when it was a busy city, it needed a lot of horsepower.

    The second photo shows a crossroad on Main Street with a bunch of sagebrush in the middle!

    The third photo shows a two level house that needs desperately flying buttresses!

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Bodie State Historic Park Things to Do

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