Monday, October 19, 2009

Bodie State Historic Park--My World

Bodie State Historic Park, a ghost town dating back to the 1870s, lies in an isolated valley about 25 miles from our cabin. We visited last June. Not the best time for photography but I managed to get some good photos anyway. Shooting in camera raw allowed me to doctor the harsh light a bit.

Designated a State Historic Park in 1962, the buildings are kept in a state of "arrested decay". This means that they are not restored but an attempt is made to keep them from completely falling apart.
It's popular with foreign visitors and someone has thoughtfully hand lettered the no smoking sign in German and French.
It's very popular with photographers and is a stop for some photography workshops.
There are many interesting subjects, this truck is colorful but they used to have one that was rusted out and more in keeping with the rest of the park.
There are plenty of interesting buildings, some in pretty good shape and others being propped up.
You can find a variety of old machinery. I think I need to try this one in monochrome.
I like the effect you get with the reflections in the windows. Look carefully and you can see school desks, a clock on the wall, chalk board and what may be a map hanging on the wall in this old classroom. A ghost world inside and the real world reflected. This shot probably would have worked better without the harsh light of the summer solstice.
Some of the houses have been slightly rehabilitated and used as employee housing. The house on the end has a good supply of firewood. It gets cold in Bodie in the winter but I would think they would worry about wood fires even with the most modern wood stove.
That house also sports a very modern, environmentally sensitive, florescent porch light and the pretty curtain in my SSS post.
I'll show you more of this interesting park soon.

See more interesting worlds here.

23 comments:

Postcards from Wildwood said...

I had never heard of this place until seeing a post on a blog-friend's blog a few months ago. Between you you've whetted my appetite - it looks fascinating!
Janice.

Sylvia K said...

I had never heard of this place either until you posted your SSS piece. Really interesting and your photos are terrific!

Have a great week, Martha!

Sylvia

itsnotjustapicture said...

so if i am up on my history...gold was discovered here 10 years after the great gold rush and sutter's mill. your captures are perfect. a shame that they cannot restore it some.

have a fab week.

Snap said...

Wow! You never know what little gem someone will have! Wonderful shots. Thanks for the travel log!

Photo Cache said...

I've always loved to see this place in person. I was extremely disappointed when we went to see it last year. It was snowing and too foggy and we were afraid our little car wouldn't get make it back up to 395 so we didn't proceed. Thanks for sharing, I just have to be content with seeing photos from fellow bloggers.

www.ewok1993.wordpress.com

Carver said...

What an interesting place. Your photographs and text make me feel like I've been there. I'd love to go sometime.

eileeninmd said...

Interesting post and photos, thanks for sharing.

Catherine said...

I love that notion of arrested decay...could well describe my area here in Mexico City!! There are many ghost towns here in Mexico that are naturally coming back to life as artist colonies...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Martha: That certainly is an interesting place to visit with great photos.

SandyCarlson said...

Places like this make me wonder exactly when people decided to just get up and go and leave it all there. Mysterious.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

It looks in good shape. I've been to some ghost towns in Arizona and Idaho and none of them look as well preserved as this one.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love that idea, too!

Arrested decay. Work for me, too. Things have been falling apart, but I'm not dead yet! Middle age is so much fun!

Gaelyn said...

Bodie is a great reflection into the past, as are your images. Love the old buildings, and that they are just preserved as is. Think the rusy truck would fit in better. The kind of place where ghosts hang out, or at least it might feel that way.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh gosh i missed a Ghost Town i will have to make note of this place as we like ghost towns
Nice shots

Arija said...

So nice of you to take us to these out of the way places most of us would have no chance of seeing for ourselves.

ramosforestenvironment.com said...

History and beauty.
Beautiful place.
Luiz Ramos

Stine in Ontario said...

Imagining life in a booming gold town...hmmmm. Makes me wonder what our society will leave behind for the future to see as it is maintained in a state of arrested decay. Great post

Diane AZ said...

Interesting how the park maintains the structures by "arrested decay." I like the reflection picture, a nice blend of past and present.

wncmountainliving said...

The buildings look to be in pretty good shape - glad to see they are trying to perserve this piece of history!

koala said...

Isn't it ironic that a country with a much shorter 'history' (meaning western civilization history) has more ghost towns then old Europe.

Linnea W said...

What an interesting place to visit! I was there in the summertime, too. I'd love to go back in winter to take photos or at sunset to capture the soft light against the rustic buildings. Great photos!

Tom Hilton said...

Bodie is a great place. We were just up there last weekend, and last week's snow was still melting--it made a very nice visual contrast.

Love your fall color shots, btw.

Owlfarmer said...

Good lord. I haven't been to Bodie in something like thirty years--and it hasn't changed much (except that there seem to be more people). If you haven't been down to Randsburg and Johannesburg, I highly recommend them for similar features (although I think there's actually a B&B in Randsburg). More reasons to get my backside out west.

Thanks for the post--hope you had a great Thanksgiving.