W.S. Bodie discovered gold northeast from Mono Lake nearby Nevada's border back in 1859. Unfortunately he died in a snow storm that winter and never saw the town that took on his name. Since 1860 till mid 1870 grew a town. It started with about 20 miners and grew to an estimated 10,000 people by 1880!
As many as 30 mines were run here. The most successful was Standard Company which in 25 years earned 15 millions dollars. In 1860-1941 Bodie mining district produced close to $100 millions in gold and silver.
Town has got soon a bad reputation. There's a story about a little girl who's family moved from San Francisco to Bodie. She wrote "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie". By that time, the town of Bodie bustled with families, robbers, miners, store owners, gunfighters and prostitutes of all kinds. At one time there was reported to be 65 saloons in town. Amongst the saloons were numerous brothels and 'houses of ill repute', gambling halls and opium dens. Nowadays exists here about 5% of buildings but that is still more than 150. Bodie is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the West. Since 1962 Bodie is "state historic site".