Boom and Bust and Law and Order in Bodie

Nevada ghost town writer Stan Paher's latest book views the rise and fall of the Bodie Mining Camp as seen through the eyes of town constable John Kirgan.

Paher will host a free program discussing Kirgan and his times at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23.

Paher's presentation includes a look at Nevada's historical relationship with California in the mid-19th century, and the great silver mining rush to the Comstock Lode and Virginia City in 1859. He will show illustrations of Gold Hill and other towns which sprang up as a result of that mining boom.

With Virginia City's decline in 1878, a new mining rush occurred in Bodie, 120 miles to the south near Mono Lake. Paher uses a series of new slides to show the rise of the gold camp of Bodie and the boom years around 1880. Special emphasis will be on law and order, especially through the eyes of constable John Kirgan, subject of Paher's new book, "Bodie's Boss Lawman, the Odyssey of Constable John Kirgan."

The presentation includes contemporary color slides of ghost towns. The author will be available to answer questions and sign copies of his new book as well as the "Nevada Road and Recreation Atlas," which he edited with field work and maps.

Paher started visiting ghost towns as soon as he received his drivers license at age 16, and believes that history can be fun while being educational. He has visited, photographed and written about nearly 400 ghost towns.

The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors, and free for children under 18. For information, call 687-4810.

Who: Stan Paher

Where: Nevada State Museum

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23


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