Marketquake: Moving beyond Arrested Decay
I can't recall a period of time that was as volatile, complex, ambiguous, and tumultuous. As one successful executive put it, “If you're not confused, you don't know what's going on.”
—Warren Bennis, founding chairman of The Leadership Institute, University of Southern California
In 1859, a prospector named William S. Bodey discovered gold high in the Sierra mountains of California, and within 20 years the developing town—named after him—had a population of more than ten thousand people. The town, whose name was eventually changed to “Bodie,” was a thriving and rapidly growing community, as the people harvested the rich silver and gold deposits from mines dug into the hills. The residents quickly built all the necessary foundations of a full community, including a town hall, merchants, fire and police departments, and schools. Such was the demand for lumber and materials to support the housing explosion that even a railroad was constructed to deliver building materials to Bodie from the nearby town of Mono Mills.
By 1915, Bodie was labeled a “ghost town”; by 1918, the rail line had been dismantled; and by 1942, the town was completely abandoned. However, to this day first the U.S. National Park Service, then the state's park service in conjunction with a private foundation, has maintained the town in an intentional state of arrested decay to show how life was in the town when it was abandoned. That is, the structures, furniture, ...