In 1859 a man by the name of William S. Bodey discovered gold high in the hills overlooking Mono Lake. A mill was established by 1861 and with what started out with 20 miners quickly grew to a town of over 10,000 by 1880. In time the spelling was changed and it isn't clear if the town was named for that same early prospector who died in a blizzard soon after his gold discovery. He never saw the town that rose in his name.
The town was occupied by families, miners, store owners, gunfighters, robbers and prostitutes. At one time there were 65 saloons, numerous brothels, gambling halls and opium dens.
Something for everyone.
The wonderful thing about Bodie is that you are free to walk around and explore on your own most everywhere. Only the abandoned mining works and digs are off limits, for your own safety. Over the years nearly 34 million dollars of gold was mined in Bodie.
With the mixture of money, gold, alcohol and guns hardly a night went by without someone getting shot and most likely die. There is a story of a little girl living in San Francisco who upon learning her family was moving to Bodie wrote in her diary "Goodbye God, I am going to Bodie".