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Thread: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

  1. #1
    dperez's Avatar
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    Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    I will be in the Bodie area from September 11-14. Wanted to know what anyone has to say about the ghost town of Aurora. I have read reports that there isn't much to see there, but I would be more inclined to pay attention if that info came from a photographer.

    If anyone has other suggestions for ghost towns in that area I would be all ears (or eyes I guess). I'm willing to go to the Tonopah area, but not too much farther south if it can be avoided this time around.

    Thanks.

    -DP

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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    I'd like to know also- AFA I do know there is zilch, but...
    My to-be-parents lived in Aurora in the depths of the depression, my dad worked a goldmine, along with a couple of AAF buddies after they had completed flight training and their ROTC obligations- you are excused, there's a depression on. Back then, Bodie was the Big Town, and they went to Saturday Nite dances there. Ore was delivered over Lucky Boy Pass to the railroad at Hawthorne, using the lowest gear, reverse. They left Aurora in 1933, and this world in the 1980s.

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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    I visited in the very early 1950's and there were still buildings standing. Shortly thereafter, the town was vandalized and the used brick hauled off for home construction elsewhere. I did return once, and there was very little to photograph, although the cemetery was interesting. Perhaps Jim Galli will chime in here, he probably knows the current status and road condition.

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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    DP
    Are you enrolled in a photo workshop at Bodie?
    I've done them twice, with interior access, its the best way to shoot Bodie.
    David Silva
    Modesto,Ca

  5. #5
    dperez's Avatar
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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsphotog View Post
    DP
    Are you enrolled in a photo workshop at Bodie?
    I've done them twice, with interior access, its the best way to shoot Bodie.
    David Silva
    Modesto,Ca
    No not at this time... Which one would you recommend?

  6. #6

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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    They are listed on Bodie's website...
    The one i used was Bob Cumming, for enrollment call Bob 714 688-9744.

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    My mothers uncle was a circuit preacher in the mining boomtowns from the 1880's
    until around 1910. His daughter walked around with a box camera as a little girl, and
    I have inherited cyanotype prints from a child's point of view of places like Big Pine and
    Silver City from that era. Really fascinating seeing these town under construction and
    how a child viewed the frontier. Things like a snowplow composed of oxen dragging a
    log with a chain, women in hoop skirts climbing the Palisade glacier, etc. Perhaps even
    more interesting were her fathers recorded sermons, in highly polished East coast prose, presented to half a dozen grubby miners each Sunday in a town which is reputed to have held almost two hundred bars and brothels in its heyday. Two of the
    little Victorian churches remain, one in Big Pine and the other in Lamoille, Nevada.

  8. #8

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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    Nothing much to photograph in Aurora although the country is beautiful. You can thank California's inane property tax laws for that. About 1948 as the story I've heard goes, the fellow that literally owned the entire town was getting charged taxes by the building. He let people come and dismantle them for the bricks. From photos even in the 1940's it was a town that would easily have rivaled Bodie. There are some mining buildings extant in Monarch though.

    I have a love / hate relationship with Bodie. I love it but it's so overphotographed that you can flip to photo.net and not only pick out the Bodie photos, you can tell which building they were in and what angle they were shooting.

    By way of a free tip, the light in Bodie is also quite unique. Combine the 8500 foot elevation (think blue) with 4% humidity and it's easy to get 5 stop spreads between your shadows and your direct sunlight areas. It can be brutal.

    I was in Bodie one day up in the parking lot and a guy with a big Stetson hat pulled in with a 1959 Ford Thunderbird converted to 4WD and 7:00X15 truck tires. I said out loud, I can die now, I've seen everything.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  9. #9
    8x20 8x10 6x9 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    I was in Bodie one day up in the parking lot and a guy with a big Stetson hat pulled in with a 1959 Ford Thunderbird converted to 4WD and 7:00X15 truck tires. I said out loud, I can die now, I've seen everything.
    I didn't know that Ansel liked T-Birds.......

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Aurora, Nevada... Is there anything there?

    Jim - I've taken a couple shots in Bodie that I'm quite certain no one will ever
    duplicate, and prints of one of them are in several major private collections. There
    are always opportunities, whether due to the uniqueness of somone's personal
    viewpoint or some special lighting conditons, or whatever. If one arrives there early
    AM or late in the afternoon, the crowds will be light. And it's just off 395 near Mono
    Lake and other tempting areas. The dirt road the opposite direction to Green Creek
    watershed is also very nice. But as you know better than most, there are plenty of
    other places with rusty buildings and so forth in the Great Basin. And given the choice, I prefer solitude. Haven't been back to Bodie per se for over 25 yrs, but have driven past the entrance about a hundred times, so have a decent clue what the tourist traffic is doing. Tonopah must have many opportunties too!

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