JSCNHM home • Spring 2012 • vol. 4 no. 2

Mono County

Photo Gallery (.mov)

Bodie State Historic Park

P.O. Box 515
Bridgeport, CA 93517
Phone: (760) 647-6445
Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.

Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of "arrested decay." Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of "arrested decay". Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.

Devils Postpile National Monument

P.O. Box 3999
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Phone: (760) 934-2289
Website: http://www.nps.gov/depo/

Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls, and pristine mountain scenery. The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry.

Mono Basin Historical Society

P.O. Box 31
Lee Vining, CA 93541
Phone: (760) 647-6461
Email: curator@monobasinhs.org
Website: https://www.monobasinhistory.org/

Located in Mono Lake's Old School House, this museum displays both the commonplace and delightfully odd artifacts, photographs, books, maps and equipment chronicling the cultural history of the Mono Basin. Outside exhibits feature Nellie Bly's legendary Upside-Down House, along with farming and mining equipment. Inside the museum see Native American artifacts, gold mining implements and the wheel of the Venita, the Tour Boat that operated on Mono Lake in the 1930s.

Mono County Public Libraries

P.O. Box 1120
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Phone: (760) 934-8670
Fax: (760) 934-6268
Email: bmichael@monocoe.org
Website: http://www.monocolibraries.org/

Mono County Libraries serve the communities of Mono County in the heart of California's spectacular Eastern Sierra.

The Mono County Free Library was established in 1965 as a joint school-community library system. This library is operated by the Mono County Office of Education under the direction of the Mono County Superintendent of Schools.

The library has eight branches. Three of these branches are shared with school libraries; four are in public buildings. The bookmobile visits the north end of the county and the southern end of the county on alternating weeks.

Mono Lake Committee Information Center and Bookstore

P.O. Box 29
Lee Vining, CA 93541
Phone: (760) 647-6595
Email: info@monolake.org
Website: http://www.monolake.org/

Since 1978, the Mono Lake Committee has fought to protect Mono Lake from excessive water diversions to Los Angeles.

Through litigation, legislation, cooperation, and most importantly, public support, our efforts have been successful so far. However, the fight to protect and restore Mono Lake is far from over. Much work remains to restore desiccated waterfowl habitat and riparian vegetation, educate the public, promote water conservation, and maintain Mono Lake's protected status in state and federal political arenas.

The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit citizens' group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin ecosystem, educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use, and promoting cooperative solutions that protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas.

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Phone: (760) 647-6331
Email: monolake@parks.ca.gov
Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=514

The reserve was established to preserve the spectacular "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitat for the 1-2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year.

Mono Lake is a majestic body of water covering about 65 square miles. It is an ancient lake, over 1 million years old—one of the oldest lakes in North America. It has no outlet.

Throughout its long existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty as the ocean and very alkaline.

In late 2011, thanks to the concerted efforts of many concerned individuals and organizations, the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, which was slated for closure due to budget cuts, was removed from the State Parks Closure List.




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