Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bodie State Historic Park

So far, the weather here in Bridgeport has been what the meteorologists call "unsettled."  We've had wind, rain, hail, and sun, and it's all been cycling through constantly since we got here. Don has still managed to get down to the river each day, and he doesn't mind getting wet when it rains anyway. I've stayed here in the trailer and sewed or read.

Today we had the promise of better weather, so we decided to go to Bodie.  Gold was discovered in Bodie in 1859, and by 1879 10,000 people were living there. Now only about 5% of the original buildings remain, but there are plenty for visitors to see. Don and I went there back in the early 90s with the kids - we drove the washboarded dirt road from Mono Lake.  Neither of us remembers much from that visit, other than the fact that it was fast and we didn't see much.  This time we decided to take our time.

To get to Bodie, you drive south on the 395 to the turnoff at Virginia Creek Settlement, then take a paved road up into the Bodie Hills 9 miles to the dirt road.  There it's only 3 miles more to Bodie. There's a parking lot with restrooms, and from there you go into the town on foot.  Don and I saw as much as we could - we followed the guide we'd purchased for $2.

Head frame and machinery next to the parking lot

Commemorative markers

View of Bodie from the parking lot

Methodist Church, erected in 1882
Interior of the Methodist Church
Don looking in the window of the McDonald House

Metzger House

Looking east toward site of Chinatown - several hundred people lived here in a "town within a town." They had their own stores, saloons, boarding houses, laundries, and other services.

Standard Stamp Mill and accompanying buildings

Kirkwood House
Town Jail

All that's left of the Bodie Bank - the vault

The Firehouse

The School House, originally the Bon Ton Lodging House

Looking north up Green Street, with a 4WD road to Bridgeport in the distance
L-R: barn, Post Office/Hotel, IOOF Hall, Miners' Union Hall (now the Visitor Center), Morgue

Swazey Hotel

Stagecoach (in the Visitor Center)

Horse-drawn hearse (in the Visitor Center)
After we walked all over town, we drove to the picnic area for lunch. By then the sun was shining more, and we were okay even though it was windy.

We were going to drive up to the Virginia Lakes to see if they were open, but Don decided that even if they were, it was going to be really cold to fish them. So he decided to come back to the trailer, and now he's out on the river again. I was going to watch the aggravation phase of the Jodi Arias trial, but court has been cancelled until the 15th. So I think I'll read.


Travels with Emma said...

Stamp mill? What did they stamp?

Cyndi said...

A stamp mill is where the gold ore is crushed (or "stamped") in order to break it down and extract the gold.