For many years, a picture of an old abandoned church from Bodie Ghost Town had a permanent position on my vision board and I dreamt about visiting this place. There was something so magical and mysterious about this old church: how many people had gotten married here? How many services were attended? How many prayers were said under its roof? How many prayers were answered or unanswered? It was an image that generated so many questions in my mind.
Although I’m not very religious, I am drawn to old churches, cathedrals, and temples. I find a very calming energy in these places and am always amazed by their architecture, regardless of their intricacies or simplicities. It’s as though these places are drawing me in and beckoning me to take in the beauty and secrets that they keep. I’ve been so affected by some of these places that I’m often brought to tears by their sheer magnificence.
The church in Bodie Ghost Town did exactly that.
Founded in 1859, Bodie is an old gold mining town in California that thrived from 1877 to 1881 and produced gold valued at over 100 million dollars. Mining continued until the population dwindled from over 7,000 people to 120 people, and the last mine closed in 1942.
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot at Bodie State Historic Park I was awestruck by how grand this ghost town was. I expected to see a few abandoned buildings sporadically spread across the land, but instead we were greeted by a huge abandoned town with over 100 structures, numerous streets, and a well-kept standard mill. This place is impressive!
And as soon as I saw the church in the distance, a huge smile appeared on my face and I could not contain my excitement.
Walking through Bodie felt as though we entered a time machine and were transported back in time. There was an eeriness felt as we investigated abandoned homes, hotels, storefronts, and a school—all still filled with furniture, food canisters, and past possessions.
The church was no different.
The church on my vision board is an old Methodist Church with pews that are still intact and a beautiful organ tucked away in the corner. It was even better in person than I could have imagined, and I probably spent too much time admiring its beauty while tourists around me patiently waited for me to move aside so they could also experience the church’s splendor.
My dream came true.
If you find yourself near Mammoth Lakes or Lake Tahoe, California, please don’t miss the chance to visit Bodie. You won’t regret it.
Click here to watch our brief video.
Wishing you peace, love, and adventure,