By Birgit Mitchell, Uniquely Northwest Business Development Manager
It was on one of those quintessential American road trips, unexpected, exhilarating and amazing: After a trip to Yosemite National Park we stumbled across a brown road sign indicating some Historical Township would lay ahead, a little bit out of the way but worth the detour as our guide book indicated. Yes, we still traveled with a guide book.
When we reached the end of the dirt road, we were standing in awe: Bodie, located east of the Sierra Nevada, about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe, is an authentic Wild West ghost town. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park. Since 2012, Bodie is under the protection of the Bodie Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and public enjoyment of Bodie State Historic Park as well as nearby Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Grover Hot Springs State Park.
Bodie originally was established as a small mining camp in 1859 when gold was discovered in the area. Then, in 1876, the further discovery of a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, prompted the birth of a thriving boomtown in Bodie as thousands of people arrived. But by the turn of the century, promising mining booms in other places lured people away, and by 1915 it became a ghost town.
Today, a total of 110 buildings remain, all preserved in a state of arrested decay, including one of many once operational gold mills. Visitors can walk the deserted streets of a town that once was a bustling area of activity. Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods.
Bodie has been named California’s official state gold rush ghost town… and if you close your eyes and listen carefully you will still hear the wind howl, see the tumble weeds roll over the sandy hills and that Gary Cooper “High Noon” feeling will creep up on you.
Bodie could be an amazing stop as part of a West Coast Road Rally incentive program!“We are proud members of the Association of Destination Management Executives International”