W. S. Bodey and his companions discovered gold high in the hills at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1859. After almost twenty years of small scale mining by a few prospectors, in 1877 industrial scale mining on the site brought about the boomtown of Bodie, named—inaccurately—after the deceased W. S. By 1879 Bodie had approximately 8500 inhabitants and 2000 buildings, with more than 60 saloons, dance halls, and houses of ill repute. According to one resident, it was “a sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion.” By 1881, the gold was mostly gone and the town shrank as fast as it had grown. The last few folks departed in the 1940s, leaving the surviving buildings more or less intact. The ghost town became a state park in 1962, and it currently exists in a condition of “arrested decay.” Maintenance is only performed to prevent the old buildings from deteriorating further.