About this project

The state of California contracted B.R. Howard to survey the Bodie State Park cemetery, stabilize existing grave markers and fencing, and reproduce badly deteriorated fences that had collapsed.


What we did

Bodie is mining town from the late 1800’s. There were initially about 20 miners but grew to an estimated 10,000 people at its peak. The remaining buildings and cemetery stand in a state of “arrested decay” and are maintained by the California Parks System who took over the town in 1962.

Each grave site was recorded and photo documented as vegetation was removed. Grave markers and fencing components were labeled, inventoried, and dimensions were compiled for accurate reproduction.


All original fence boards, pickets, and posts were reused and integrated into areas that were reproduced. Some of the grave sites had very little material left and complete reproductions were fabricated from historic photographs and documents obtained from the curators and park staff. Replicated components were artificially weathered using air abrasive or accelerated oxidation. This was done so that the original materials would look more cohesive and blend together as seasons continue to weather the surfaces. Original materials were carefully cleaned, areas consolidated, and a borate fungicide was applied to the surface of old and new material.