The Ghost Town of Bodie, Washington, Toroda Creek, Okanogan Highlands

Here’s what the Bodi ghost-town looks like now, eight buildings still standing (10 if you count the two outhouses). But there is a bit of a story of this abandoned townsite and this local area of history rich  Okanogan County. Here’s how I’ve heard it…

Go back to the year 1888 when two prospectors, notable in their day, worked their way into northeastern Okanogan County and discovered high quality gold ore in the foothills of Bodie Mountain.  The prospectors Tommy Ryan and Phil Creasor staked their claim at what is now the site of the ghost-town of Bodie Washington. Ryan, Creasor and an assortment of other characters set up camp and extracted, milled and processed the ore right in the townsite of Bodie until 1934 when a decline in the gold market closed the township's mine and emptied its buildings.



The townsite of Bodie Washington was settled in early 1888, about two years after Ryan and Creasor discovered the lucrative area which became Republic’s Knob Hill Mine. The Bodie Mining Camp is said to have processed over $1 million in high quality ore and rumor is that Bodie Creek still runs with color.


The ghost town of Bodie is located in scenic Toroda Creek drainage at the mouth of Bodie Creek in the far northeastern corner of Okanogan County near the Ferry County line. The townsite of Bodie with its decrepit buildings and rusting artifacts, located conveniently on both sides of a paved and well maintained county road, regularly attracts a mix of tourists, mining buffs, photographers and historians.


From the information I have it appears that the gold mill town of Bodie was established about 1900 with a store, post office, cookhouse, bunkhouse, and hotel as well as a tent camp nearby. It was the Perkins Milling Company that employed almost every resident in the town. Local mines included the Golden Reward, the Bodie and the Elk, which was later renamed the Golconda. Unfortunately falling gold prices in the 1930’s shutdown the Bodie operations. And slowly since the permanent buildings have been following the natural course of abandoned structures and gradually succumbing to the elements. It was sometime in the early 1960’s that the mill itself burned down.   


If the traveler wanders about twelve miles north of Wauconda down the Toroda Creek drainage they will come to the ghost town of Bodie sitting on either side of the Toroda Creek Road. It appears the post office was established in 1898 as Toroda. It was about a year later in January of 1899 that the U.S. Postal Service renamed the Toroda Post Office to “Bodie,” which closed in 1911. Maybe the first clue that we have towards the inevitable fate of the town itself.


I’ve heard the main building of Bodie referred to as the “schoolhouse,” the “saloon” and the “hotel.” Not sure myself but if I get any clarifying information through this blog I’ll come back and re-edit this page to reflect that info.

 

 
 
 
This is an overview of Bodie Washington that I created using Google Earth to map the local area.
The image of the sign below thanks to Ted Murray.
 
 

Here is some more info provided by Ted Murray:

Source: History of North Washington
One of the most lovely portions of the drive between Republic and Chesaw passes through Lost Canyon, a sombre mountain gorge, heavily timbered with stately pines and firs, a few miles southeast of Chesaw. The present time of stage arrival at this point is about six o'clock p. m, and one has then been on the road from

Republic nearly eleven hours, including a wait of an hour at Bodie for lunch. Most of the Okanogan traveling is by easy stages, and the drive from Chesaw to Oroville, on the Okonagan river, occupied a fair portion of the following day, with lunch at an elegant, large hotel -an innovation in the wilderness-at Molson.

 Source: History of North Washington

Bodie is the name of a little mining camp on the Republic-Chesaw stage road, twentyfive miles northwest of the former place. Bodie came into existence shortly after the opening of the "North Half" of the Colville Indian reservation to mineral entry, and was .the result of the discovery and subsequent working of the Bodie mine. The original town of Bodie was located about one mile south of the mine, but in 1903 a new town was started up at the mine and it promises in time to do away with the old town which, however, still has a number of business houses. A new $20,000 mill for the treatment of the ores of the Bodie mine has been erected there.

 Source: Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns

…by 1886 Bodie had a restaurant, general store, smithy shop, livery barn and several cabins. The DeWitz brothers sold their Bodie claims to the Wrigley Bros (chewing gum) they built a mill and produced $1,250,000 in gold the mine shut down in 1944

 
XXX

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in on this blog Max. Always good to hear from you. Please feel free to link on to follow...

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  3. Photos and history very interesting, thank you for sharing all of this. Looks like a fun place to come photograph.

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  4. Snuppa, it is indeed. Appreciate you checking out the blog and commenting.

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