Bodie State Historic Park Maps and Drawings

Identifier: 93-68

Scope and Contents

A vast quantity of historic records of Bodie businesses and people survived the decline of the town. J. S. Cain ended up owning all surviving businesses and buildings and many of those structures included records left behind by the sellers. These documents were often subject to the ravages of weather as the buildings themselves declined, but much of what was stored in the J. S. Cain mercantile and bank building was protected and survived.

The first of the Bodie Archives to be filmed was the series of maps and technical drawings. Two rolls of microfilm contain 260 images, dating from about 1879-1934. The bulk of the images are from about 1900-1910.

The original drawings consist of maps, plot plans, surveys, and technical drawings of equipment or mining sites. The formats include paper, blueprints, and linen; images are done in ink, colored media (usually pencil), pencil, or are printed commercially. Most of the drawings are identified but many are not and their identity or location must be surmised.


  • 1879-1934


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Conditions Governing Use

To obtain paper copies of these drawings, or to learn more about the Bodie Archives collection, please contact the California State Archives:

California State Archives 1020 "O" Street Sacramento, CA 95814 916/653-7715

Administrative History

The town of Bodie, Mono County, California was the site of a discovery of gold in 1859 by William Bodey. A small mining community was established but little ore was located. In 1863 a number of claims were consolidated into the Bodie Bluff Consolidated Mining Company but despite the infusion of capital, the area remained a minor district.

It was not until major discoveries of gold beginning in 1877 that the population of Bodie exploded, along with gold mining and milling activity. By 1879 the population swelled to 7,000 and there were from 600-800 buildings. The business and stock depression had serious consequences for Bodie and led to a decline which included the closing of mines, mills, and general businesses. The population fell to 1,500 by 1887 and although there were occasional brief booms, the town never reached the importance of the years around 1880. Fires also took their toll; those of 1884, 1892, and 1932 devastated the town.

As the population shrank, leading merchant and banker J.S. Cain began to purchase property and by the 1930s he and his family owned most of Bodie and the surrounding area. By the 1950s it was a true ghost town, populated only by a caretaker hired by the Cains. Bodie was sold to the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1956 and became Bodie State Historic Park (BSHP). Today, the town is maintained in a state of "arrested decay" to preserve those structures which remain.


0.33 Linear Feet (2 microfilm reels (260 items))

Language of Materials



The town of Bodie, Mono County, California was the site of a discovery of gold in 1859 by William Bodey. The collection contains microfilmed maps and engineering drawings of mines, tunnels, power houses, surveys, portions of townships and ranges, and mining equipment at Aurora, Nevada and Bodie, Green Creek (Mono County), Mono Lake, and Mammoth Lakes, California. Mines, mining companies, and power plants include Aurora Consolidated Mines Company, Bodie Consolidated Mining Company, Bodie Gold Mining Company, Bodie Tunnel and Mining Company, Bodie Venture Mining Company, Standard Consolidated Mining Company, Treadwell Yukon Company, Bulwer Mine, Esmeralda Mine, Green Creek Power Plant, Green Creek Dam, Juniata Mine, Lundy Power House, and Red Cloud Mine.


There is no particular arrangement to these materials. The following list of images is as they appear on the rolls. Identification numbers appear as targets immediately preceding each item; for the most part they are in chronological order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Microfilm reel donated by the California State Archives in 1993.

Existence and Location of Originals

California State Archives, 1020 O St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

Processing Information

Recognizing the importance of these records, the California State Department of Parks and Recreation authorized a project in 1987 to gather, clean, arrange, and describe these materials, known as the Bodie Archives. A team of experienced archivists, museum curators, and volunteers assembled the surviving records and over the course of three summers processed and cataloged the records. At the end of the project the Bodie Archives were transferred to the California State Archives in Sacramento, to provide access until the time when an archives facility could be built at Bodie.

The California State Archives agreed to microfilm the collection and provide copies to Bodie State Historic Park and to the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno, which is geographically the closest archival facility to Bodie.


Guide to the Maps and Drawings of Bodie State Historic Park
Susan Searcy
October 12, 1995
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)