Located off the Masonic Road between Bridgeport, CA and the Masonic town site, are the remains of the Chemung gold mine. The Chemung gold mine operated from from 1909 to 1938 and produced over one million dollars in gold. In the 1920s, the Chemung mine was producing low grade and high grade ore. The ore was processed onsite, and then shipped to near by Bodie for smelting.
Two towns located in the hills above Mono Lake maintain an unofficial rivalry that continues even now, long past their demise. Bodie, CA and Aurora, NV boomed with the gold rush of the 1870s and busted just years later when the gold ran out and faded into history. Miners, merchants, and people would undoubtedly moved either direction between the two cities and with good fortune would undoubtedly talk down the previous city. Such is human nature, but why would this rivalry continue long past the demise of both towns?
Aurora is a ghost town in Mineral County near the California border. Aurora is often mentioned as a footnote to larger better preserved town on Bodie, CA located just a few miles away. Like most unprotected ghost towns today the town site is a just a remnant of its past, having lost much through heavy damage from vandals over the years.
The road leading into Aurora was once a 4×4 road and difficult to make it back into Aurora. Often the winter snows and spring rains rutted out the road leading to the town.
Bodie is the ghost town by which all others are judged. Located at 8300 in the Bodie Hills above Mono Lake, Bodie is the largest and perhaps best preserved ghost town in America. Established as a ghost town and state park in 1962, the town site is now administered by the Bodie Foundation.
Currently preserved in “Arrested Decay” a condition and phrase coined by the State of California for the Bodie, the town site is preserved as it was found in 1962. This essentially maintains the structures as the were at that time, and work may be done to keep them to that standard. Some buildings get new roofs, windows sealed and foundation rebuilt to preserve the state of degradation. It is because of this forward thinking policy that the town remains in the state of decline that it does.