October 22, 2011

circular mechanical motion at Bodie


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

All this week I've been trying to find my old book on Bodie--"The Story of Bodie", by Ella M. Cain. My fear is that I loaned it to someone and it is now long gone. But it contained the most wonderful stories about the history of Bodie from this woman who grew up in Bodie.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

My father spotted "The Story of Bodie" at the general store in Bridgeport after our family had just returned to civilization on that rough and dusty road. When he went to pay for the book the lady behind the counter opened up the book and started writing something on the title page. As nicely as he could my dad asked what the hell she was doing and she replied that she was the author and thought we might like an autographed copy.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Electricity made mining a much more efficient endeavor. One story I remember from the book was about the novelty and newness of having hydroelectric power delivered over a long distance--22 miles to be exact. The technology was new and they built the transmission lines as straight as possible in fear that if the electricity had to turn corners it might fly right off the wires.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

So lets see--even though my Bodie book seems to be long-gone, here's a story from the $2 guidebook I bought on this trip:
Turn left on Park Street. The small sawmill was used for cutting firewood. With snow as much as 20 feet deep, winds up to 100 miles an hour, and temperatures down to 30 or even 40 degrees below zero, plenty of firewood was needed to keep Bodie's poorly constructed houses warm during the winter. The winter of 1878/1879 was especially severe, and Bodie residents, many of thyem new arrivals, were not adequately prepared. Many died of exposure, disease, or violence. Preparing for a Bodie winter was and still is a monumental task.


CLICK for the very "best" of my work on my photo website.

1 comment:

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I liked the story of the sales lady in Bridgeport. Now the one about the electrical wires...are you pulling my leg?

 
under construction