For a long time there’s been discussion and debate among many Bodie fans about how correct or incorrect some ‘facts’ are that surround Bodie. The term “myth” is used by some as it relates to Bodie, so here are some points to consider when reading stories of the park.
Bodie existed as a town over 120 years ago. Its boom was short and much happened during that time. There were stories from everywhere about the town, and just like today, the newspapers and reporters often under or over emphasize details. And, since there are no working DeLorean Time Machines, readers, historians and fans must cull together different versions of Bodie history and interpret it. That’s why California State Parks often use the term ”interpretation”, so as to lend the idea that the stories expressed are just versions of history.
There are authors of Bodie books who will insist that their research is more correct than another author. This is simply arrogance, as all of the authors have pulled their data from the same sources and (here’s that word again) interpreted it for their books and websites. Certainly there are those rare finds when irrefutable evidence exists, but it is extremely rare that one can prove conclusively that a story is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Even when citing articles that support their argument, there are often just as many articles and reference materials that support the opposing side.
As time moves forward, more versions of Bodie’s history will be told and more authors will profess that they are the correct. Remember this one simple FACT:
Bodie’s history is INTERPRETED.
In other words, everyone has an opinion – just enjoy the stories and continue to love and support Bodie.