What Life Was Like in These American Towns Before They Were Abandoned

Like Kennecott, there was a mining town in California called Bodie that once had 10,000 residents.

Bodie, California, in its heyday.

Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Contributor/Getty Images

In the late 1800s, Waterman S. Body found gold in the hills near Mono Lake in California. By 1879, many had flocked to the area, the town quickly becoming known as Bodie. Over 25 years, the town produced $15 million worth of gold. At its peak, over 10,000 people lived and worked in the town, which had over 2,000 buildings.

Bodie had saloons, dance halls, and hotels. The town also earned a reputation for lawlessness, as street fights, gunfights, and thievery became common. 



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