GUIDE TO BODIE[,] MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA ... PREPARED BY E. W. BILLEB - AUG. '56 [caption title]. Emil William Billeb.
GUIDE TO BODIE[,] MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA ... PREPARED BY E. W. BILLEB - AUG. '56 [caption title].

GUIDE TO BODIE[,] MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA ... PREPARED BY E. W. BILLEB - AUG. '56 [caption title]. N.p.. Prepared by E. W. Billeb, 1956. Single sheet, 38x53 cm (15 x 20 3/4 inches), printed on one side only. Map of Bodie with eleven illustrations from photographs along the top and sides, with brief text and key to locations and points of interest printed below the map. The photographs show Bodie through the years, up to 1956. The map, oriented with north toward the lower left, locates principal mines and shafts, as well as mills, commercial buildings and other structures. Now a ghost town east of the Sierra Nevada in Mono County, California, Bodie began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, including W. S. Bodey. In 1876, the Standard Company discovered a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from an isolated mining camp comprising a few prospectors and company employees to a Wild West boomtown. By 1879, Bodie had a population of approximately 7,000–10,000 people and around 2,000 buildings. The town went into decline in the subsequent decades and came to be described as a "ghost town" by 1915. By 1920, Bodie's population was recorded by the US Federal Census at a total of 120 people. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and in 1962 the California state legislature authorized creation of Bodie State Historic Park. A total of 170 buildings remained. Today, Bodie is preserved in a state of arrested decay. Only a small part of the town survived, with about 110 structures still standing, including one of many once operational gold mills. This 1956 tourist map, produced five years prior to the town being designated a National Historic Landmark, is the earliest known map of Bodie as a ghost town. It is preceded by rare 1878 and 1880 maps of gold claims in the Bodie mining district, the equally rare 1879 birdseye view of the town, and the 1890 Sanborn-Perris fire insurance map of the town. Emil William Billeb (1885-1974) was a photographer and miner during the heyday of the Great Basin mining camps. His life and experiences in the mining camps of Nevada and eastern California after 1905 are well told in his MINING CAMP DAYS (1968), augmented with a multitude of previously unpublished photographs. Emil, who immigrated from Germany to America in 1892, married Jessie D. Cain, the daughter of Bodie pioneer James Stuart Cain (1853-1938). The Cain family eventually became Bodie's principal property owner. Short tear at left edge intruding into a photo professionally mended, a very good copy. Professionally matted and shrink wrapped on acid free foamcore. OCLC reports one copy, at the University of California, Berkeley. (#166441).

Price: $850.00

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