Bodie Ghost Town – Morgue, Schoolhouse, James Stuart Cain Residence, Jailhouse

The Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town.

Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.

Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.


  • Winter hours 9am to 4pm (November 4th to April 15th)
  • Summer hours 9am-6pm (April 15th to November 3rd )

In the winter, you may need a snowmobile to get in. The road is not plowed.

The only access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building is by permit. The cost is steep but worth it. My wife Liz and I went on a photography tour at $800 a pop.

The tour gave us access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building at mid-day.

Feature Image Details

I used a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 11mm, F16, ISO 250 for 1 second.

The Morgue was one of my favorite buildings. I like the pastel colors on the coffins. This shot absolutely requires an extreme wide angle lens. It was not possible to stand back. My back was to the wall.

The morgue is so narrow that only one person was allowed in the building at a time. We were given two minutes.

Second Morgue Image

James Stewart Cain Residence

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens ISO 640 F16. This shot was extremely backlit so this is a blend of multiple exposures.

We did not have inside access to this building, unfortunately. The bottle collection visible through the front window looks interesting.

Jailhouse Images


I used my Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens for both images.

The contrast on the first schoolhouse image was extreme given the windows. These are multiple exposure blends.

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse
  6. Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

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I have a few more Bodie sets coming up. Then it will be time to move on to another detailed look at someplace else.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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