America's Greatest Ghost Town: Bodie, California

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America's Greatest Ghost Town

Welcome to Bodie, California. The once bustling mining town, known for it's shootouts, bar room brawls and stagecoach holdups is now just a shadow of itself. It sits deep in the desert, almost as if time has stood still since its last resident left in the 1940's.

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Founded in 1876, Bodie started out as a small mining camp until the "standard company" found a profitable deposit of gold bearing ore. The discovery of the precious metal quickly transformed the town into a bustling Wild West Boomtown.

By 1879, Bodie had a population of approximately 5,000-7,000 people and boasted around 2,000 buildings with annual gold revenue reaching the millions. The "boom," however, didn't last long. By the early 1880's, the gold began to dry up. The decline continued, and by 1917, the local railroad was abandoned and the iron tracks were scrapped.

Now Bodie has only a few residents. They are full time caretakers who preserve the town, making it accessible to the 200,000 or so visitors who come a year.

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