Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bodie - a Ghost Town

Once, Bodie was a thriving town of 10'000. Today it's a photogenic ghost town preserved for the benefit of visitors from all over the world.

The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered gold in the nearby hills. It took just two years after the gold discovery to transform a town of a few dozen into a town of thousands. It was a typical Western town: with as many bordellos as citizens and with gunfights happening on a daily basis. And as quickly as the town grew in size after the gold discovery, that quickly it decreased in size after the gold reserves were over. 

Today, nobody lives there. But the town is not dead. Its past glory is both protected by California State Parks Foundation and immortalized on film by thousands of visitors.   

Only a small percentage of buildings that once stood in Bodie has survived to our times, but the ones that did are amazingly well-preserved, or as the park rangers say are preserved in a state of "arrested decay." The town's old-thyme charm and beautiful California's weather make for a photographer's dream.