Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bodie's Baddies: U.S. Hotel, Sam Leon's Cafe, Barbershop

We are now in the second phase of my last visit to Bodie ghost town. In this phase, I wll cover some of the places on mainstreet that I did not do two years ago. It will also supplement what I did on this blog two years ago. I will post a link at the bottom if you have not seen what I did in Dec. 2008.

What I did back then was put up a bunch of scenes of the movie, Hell's Heroes, which used Bodie at the beginning and the ending of the movie. Originally, I put up many scenes from the movie in the old channel since it was a rare movie at the time. Since then it has become a little easier to find. The movie is important since it shows what the town once was before the big fire that wiped out most of the town a few years after it was filmed. I have gone back and done some re-editing of some of those blog entries to make them more current with what I will have now.

This phase deals with the scenes filmed on Bodie's mainstreet. Keep in mind that am combining the real history with the reel history of cinema. While the "Bad Man of Bodie" is partly legend, this movie does fit in well with the real history of Bodie.

This first picture I am showing is an old one from two years ago, but I wanted to use it again for point of reference. We are on mainstreet looking to the west. If I were to turn around behind me to the right you would see the remains of the bank. However, from the point of view of the picture, if you turn to the left you would see where the U.S. Hotel would have been.

This is a picture of the U.S. Hotel. It was wiped out in the big fire of June 23, 1932. You do see this structure in the movie.
In the 1920's, a chinese man by the name of Sam Leon owned the U.S. Hotel. When the hotel burned down he moved down across the street to start his new bar (or cafe). In the first picture above, it is part of the first structure you see on the right side of the street.
Sam Leon is the one of the left. The barbershop is on the right. Eventually, he moved his business to the DeChambeau Hotel. Here is one of my pictures from some years back.
Here is from my latest trip. You will notice that they have added on the barber shop pole sign.
I should take this time to mention that this structures are in a state of arrested decay. Meaning, the park employees do just enough to keep them from falling over. Nothing is rebuilt and is close as you will get to what the town was like when it was still functioning.

Bodie's Hell's Heroes blog entries from 2008

Bodie's Baddies (Youtube Version)

Bodie's Baddies (Vimeo Version)