Going to Bodie?
This car hasn't moved in a long time, but it's still got Bodie in its sights.
A fire in the 1930s destroyed hundreds of buildings in Bodie, but even so, there are about 300 left today.
This church was built in 1882 and was one of only two in town, but they had over 65 saloons. The other church was Catholic and both were built about the same time.
In 1881, as the gold mines played out, Bodie's population dropped from a high of possibly 10,000 people to some 3,000, just as the new churches were completed.
When Bodie's residents left, they didn't take a lot with them - it was too hard to haul it all out over the mountains, but their departure probably wasn't as hasty as this scene might suggest. In the years before Bodie became a state park, its owners often added items to make the place more appealing to visitors. The parks department decided to try to keep Bodie just like the found it, so little settings like this aren't uncommon.
The Miller House is one of the few structures that the public can get inside of at Bodie.
Abandoned Mining Equipment
You'll find bits of abandoned gold mining equipment all over town in Bodie. This one which is near the parking lot creates a nice frame for some of the old buildings.
Photographers like this old house, but usually shoot it straight on, but we thought we'd try to do something a little different, shooting up from a low angle. The lighting is so striking that it almost looks like the image has been manipulated, but in fact, it's only been spruced up just a little bit.
The man who owned the house with the pretty glassed-in porch was James Stuart Cain, one of the town's richest residents. His son lived down the street just across from the church.
You can tell that the whole town was built of wood and they didn't haul it up there from San Francisco. This sawmill must have been buzzing day and night.
The old cars aren't the only abandoned vehicles in Bodie. This old wagon has been sitting around there a long time, too. It looks to me like it's holding up better than the automobiles are.
Bar and Barber Shop
The official name is the Sam Leon Bar and Barber Shop. These two buildings seem to be leaning on each other for support.
Cowboys in Town
These two guys dressed up in cowboy gear lend a feel of yesteryear to Bodie. They were part of a small photo shoot going on and aren't there on a regular basis.
Standard Stamp Mill
This mill was one of nine operating during the town's heyday. Called a stamp mill because of the "stamp" equipment used to crush the gold-bearing rock, the mill produced over $30 million in ore. It was built in 1898, replacing a previous mill on the same site that burned down.
Today it is open for tours.
Fires were always a threat in Gold Rush-era California and at its peak, Bodie had four fire companies. When a fire broke out, they might all try to put it out, but there was only one hookup on the fire hydrant, which could create some issues. Finally, all four companies were merged into one.
Bodie at Sunset
The night photos of Bodie that you're about to see were taken during a workshop with Jeff Sullivan Photography. In fact, a workshop like his is the only way you can get into Bodie at night. We were there on a full moon night. It was cold but spectacular!
Store at Night
This night view of the store was taken during a full moon. The light inside is left on all the time.
Bodie experienced a small resurgence in the 1930s, when these gas pumps were installed. The old truck parked next to them must be one of the most-photographed things in town.