A Trip to Bodie Bluff-and the Dead Sea of the West (Mono Lake) in 1863


John Ross Browne, the artist, and author visited Bodie (aka Bodie Bluff) several times in the 1860s when the mines were at their heyday. He was apparently there in varied capacities-as a minerals engineer he authored a comprehensive government survey of Western mines, he had in mind a political campaign for a Nevada office, and his words and sketches of Bodie were published in 1865 by Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, a national periodical of that early day. The material in this book is reproduced from this source, although soon it also appeared as part of a book and has been reprinted in various forms many times since.

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Browne’s trip to Bodie Bluff began from nearby Aurora, Nevada, then a major mining camp too. He got to Aurora from Virginia City, more active still. It all fit, the minerals were there to be surveyed, the nation’s interest in Nevada’s mines could be satisfied with Browne’s articles and although the region is almost barren today, these areas are just where the potential voters lived then.

But let Browne tell his own story. We will not try to recreate history here with photos of the scene today or with modern impressions of what went on. After all, Browne was there: he should know best. All the writing and all the illustrations are his. Luckily, Bodie is still with us-a true ghost town. Thus, you can still see what Browne wrote about, preserved now “in a state of arrested decay” by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and designated a historic landmark of the National Park System.

You will love reading what J. Ross Brown wrote.

Additional information

Weight 0.159 lbs
Dimensions 7.25 × 4.25 × 0.25 in


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