Photo by Jon Sullivan (pdphoto.org)
Born: The story goes that W.S. Bodey discovered gold in these high desert hills in 1859. The settlement was an isolated mining camp until 1876 when a profitable vein of ore was found, and the town boomed. In the 1880 census, the population of Mono County was 7,082, and most of those people lived in Bodie.
Died: In the early 1880s, miners began moving away to seek fortune elsewhere. The town gradually wound down, and in 1942 the last mine was closed.
It lives on: Landowners hired caretakers to mind the still-intact buildings, and in 1962 the town became Bodie State Historic Park. Tourists walk the dusty streets and can even enter some of the buildings. The entrance fee is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 16 and free for younger children. Various private tours are offered, including a potentially spooky twilight walk.