Bodie was one of the biggest and “baddest” of California’s gold mining boom towns in the 19th Century. William S. Body discovered gold in these mountains in 1859. Thirty-five million dollars worth of gold and silver was discovered in Bodie’s mines between 1877 and 1888. The town’s population quickly swelled. Each new arrival hoped to strike it rich. Hundreds of active mining claims were filed. Most of the new residents worked the mines and lived in tents and wooden shacks. Wood was scarce. Winters were harsh, and lumber was needed to build a more substantial town. A forest of Jeffrey pines, miles to the south, was cut and milled. The lumber was delivered to Bodie on a newly-built railroad. The town grew to ten-thousand residents.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.