Bodie is best-known as a ghost town in Mono County, California, 12 miles east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m). It has been administered by California State Parks since becoming a state historic park in 1962, and receives about 200,000 visitors yearly.
Bodie began as a mining camp following the discovery of gold in 1859. By 1868 only two companies had built stamp mills at Bodie, and both had failed.
In 1876, the Standard Company discovered a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from an isolated mining camp to a Wild West boomtown. Rich discoveries in the adjacent Bodie Mine during 1878 attracted even more and by 1879, the town had a population of approximately 5000-7000 and around 2,000 buildings.
The first signs of decline appeared from 1880, with miners lured to other boom towns, but despite the population decrease, the mines still prospered.
During the early 1890s, Bodie enjoyed a short revival seen in technological advancements in the mines that continued to support the town.
In 1893 the Standard Company built its own hydroelectric plant, located approximately 12.5 miles away, developing a maximum of 130 horsepower (97 kW) and 6,600 volts alternating current (AC) to power the company's 20-stamp mill. This pioneering installation is marked as one of the country's first transmissions of electricity over a long distance.
By 1910, the population was recorded at 698 people, with the Bodie newspaper ceasing production in 1912 and 1913, the Standard Consolidated Mine closed.
The last mine closed in 1942, due to War Production Board order L-208, shutting down all gold mines in the United States. Mining never resumed.
Bodie is now a ghost town, with a total of 170 buildings remaining, preserved in a state of arrested decay. The town is (currently) open all year, but the long road that leads to the town is usually closed in the winter due to snow.