Getting the flavor of...
California’s best-preserved ghost town
Visiting Bodie, Calif., “might be the closest you’ll get to traveling back to the Old West,” said Michele Debczak in MentalFloss.com. The former boomtown, built in the 1870s and ’80s atop a rich gold deposit just east of the Sierra Nevada, has been preserved in a state of arrested decay since California’s park system took control of it in 1962. The buildings that have so far survived every blow of fate include a church, a schoolhouse, and Miner’s Union Hall, which once hosted Christmas celebrations and is now a small museum. On a nearby hillside stands the Standard Stamp Mill, a large complex where the rocks hauled out of the mine were pulverized to extract gold. The small, two-story Swazey Hotel is more popular, though, because the lopsided structure remains upright thanks only to a big, wooden support post propped against it. Visitors can enter various houses, and “many are furnished just as they were when they were abandoned.”