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Blissful
10-24-2005, 07:53 AM
does anyone know why everyone up and left bodie? if so why would they leave everything behind. to me it would seem people would take something with them.

Johnnie
10-25-2005, 03:29 AM
does anyone know why everyone up and left bodie? if so why would they leave everything behind. to me it would seem people would take something with them.Most people did take their belongings with them if they could, some just wanted to start over fresh. and just gave their belongings to the their friends that wanted to stick it out to the end, and some thought they would return for their belongings when things got better at the new gold strike over the next hill. But there were some that had nothing left but their chothes on their back because they sold their wagons and teams for money for the next stage out of town. What ever their decision happened to be, they thought they were doing the right thing.

This practice of leaving town in hurry seemed to be the "norm" for the times, But sure give us in todays times a real picture of how they lived in the 1800s in these fast disappearing treasures of the old west.

Your Fellow ghosttowners
Johnnie & Sheila

David A. Wright
10-26-2005, 05:27 PM
I don't have a definitive answer to this question, but simply speculation. I'm sure each item has its own story as to why it has stayed in Bodie.

Bodie didn't become a ghost town overnight. It died a very slow death. It maintained a steady population throughout WW1 and into the 1920s. During the Depression, the population slowly dwindled, but several of the mines were still being worked and the mill was still running as WW2 approached and began.

However, WW2 came along the the government shut down all mining except those mines deemed essential to the war effort. Gold and silver weren't deemed essential, but metals such as tungesten, titanium and other rare earths were. The order to shut down mining during the war spelled the end of Bodie. Younger folks went off to war, older folks drifted on to other towns. A few hung on and stayed in Bodie. The post office closed in November 1942.

The Cain family, who was prominent during Bodie's heydays and later years progressively bought up most of the properties in town for back taxes and kept a couple of people employed as watchmen for the town until the State of California purchased Cain's interests in the early 1960s and created Bodie State Park.

Now as to why there was so much stuff left in Bodie. It is likely that some of it came with the properties purchased by the Cains. Some of it may have been the Cain's own possessions and they used Bodie as a big storage facility (they were a large family - with several branches - and comprised many people who lived in Bodie and then moved on to other Mono County towns, especially Bridgeport). Some of the items have been donated by former Bodieites in later years and used in displays.

And some of the items were stolen in the years before Bodie's acquisition by the state, and the items returned later to the state with letters expressing remorse at the action of their takers ... and some items returned with letters expressing grief at the trouble that the "haunted" item brought them.

Blissful
10-27-2005, 09:21 AM
Thanks guys for your help. It was just interesting to me how everythind was left the way it was. I just happened along photos and before now havent really thought anything about it. I still find it kind of weird the they would leave so much stuff in the store and tavern. But who am i to say anything?

Johnnie
10-28-2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks guys for your help. It was just interesting to me how everythind was left the way it was. I just happened along photos and before now havent really thought anything about it. I still find it kind of weird the they would leave so much stuff in the store and tavern. But who am i to say anything?
Hello fellow ghosttowner, Our response was to short and sweet. We thank David for for adding his response, it was a lot more informative.

Sheila & Johnnie