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Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town [Paperback]

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Item description for Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town by James Watson & Doug Brodie...

Answers questions about California's most famous ghost town.

"This is the best book out today on Bodie." Park Rangers, Bodie State Park.

Big Bad Bodie is an intriguing historical tale about life as it was lived in old Bodie, the hardships, the bad times, the good times, and the people that made Bodie what it was.

Bodie, California is the most well preserved ghost town in the West. It is also a State Historic Park located at an altitude of 8,369 feet (a mile-and-a-half up), five miles from the California-Nevada border. The town reached a population of 10,000 in its heyday, from 1877 through 1882, and gold and silver production topped 100 million dollars, based on today's prices. Bodie consists of 175 buildings kept in a "state of arrested decay" by the State, meaning they will never be restored, but are prevented from further deterioration through a system of constant repair.

As is the case with many "ghost towns" of the West, questions, mysterious circumstances, puzzling episodes, previously unexplained events and enigmas surround Bodie. In their fascinating new book, Big Bad Bodie, authors Watson and Brodie have endeavored to solve these "puzzles" and provide answers to questions, such as:

Who is really buried in Bill Bodey's grave, and why? Why is the name of the town spelled "BODIE," when the town's namesake spelled his name "BODEY"? Why will there never be gold mining in Bodie again? Who started the 1932 fire that burned down much of the town? Big Bad Bodie also answers questions regarding the term "601," referring to the famous Gold Rush "601 Vigilante Committee." The authors spent many hours researching the Committee and uncovered some incredible historical facts, in print here for the first time. The "601 Vigilante Committee" was widespread in the western Gold Rush towns, and was in the business of handling out "quick justice."

Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town is the first new book about Bodie to come along in more than two decades and includes 60 photos, many from the lens of Watson's camera, plus numerous illustrations. Brodie and Watson have written a rich and fascinating history of a notorious California ghost town, sure to be of interest to any reader.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   191
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Robert D. Reed Publishers
ISBN  1931741107  
ISBN13  9781931741101  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Watson & Doug Brodie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Watson was a plank owner of the U.S. Navy Seals Team Two.

James Watson currently resides in the state of Indiana.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 19th Century > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 19th Century > Old West
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
4Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Guidebooks

Reviews - What do customers think about Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town?

Bodie, CA is a must see after reading this book  Feb 2, 2007
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for Reader Views (1/07)

"In 1879 through 1881Bodie, California was one of the richest mining towns in the West." Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the town is now a historic state park. Both gold and silver were excavated from the town's mines. "Bodie is the best-preserved ghost town in the West.

James Watson and Doug Brodie combine history, legend and never before shared stories with their readers to bring to life the image of Bodie, once a thriving town now a ghost town.

The author's discuss how to obtain an education in an obscure isolated town called Bodie. "The Bodie Public School opened its doors the second Tuesday of March, 1878." There were 10 eager students. Within two weeks there were 40 students. The teacher was paid $100.00 per month.

The town is located 15 miles from Mono Lake. The lake has been referred to as "the Dead Sea of the West." The lake was used for transporting materials "to build the railroad and to haul wood products and lumber."

In 1911 a blizzard hit the area resulting in three avalanches, leaving nine dead. "The tremendous weight of snow on the mountainside gave way and with a roar bore down on the unsuspecting occupants of the dwellings....Within seconds the powerhouse and cottages were ripped off their foundations and flattened."

"Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town," by James Watson and Doug Brodie, is fascinating. The combination of facts and myth helps to teak the reader's interest. The photographs add much to the story, bringing the town to the reader. I found myself pondering the photographs. My husband and I are born tourist, we definitely want to see Bodie. I highly recommend this book to those interested in history, travel, ghost stories and nonfiction.
A welcome addition to Western American History Studies  Sep 14, 2003
The collaborative effort of James Watson and Doug Brodie, Big Bad Bodie: High Sierra Ghost Town is the history of a Western ghost town of the 19th and 20th centuries, as compiled from newspapers, personal testimony, research in the Bodie area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and more. Black-and-white photographs complement the primary sources that compile an accurate and memorable picture of what life in Bodie was really like. Big Bad Bodie is a welcome addition to Western American History Studies collections and would well serve as a template for specialized "yesteryear" histories of other western communities as well.

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