Isabella Bl, Bodfish, CA 93205
During the late
1960's and early 1970's the Dave & Arvilla Mills family began
hauling in historic local Kern Valley structures, (many of which
were slated for destruction) to the present site in Bodfish.
this composite town are over twenty historic buildings (most not
visible from Lake Isabella Blvd) from the mining camps of Keyesville,
Whiskey Flat, old Isabella, Claraville, Hot Springs, Miracle,
Southfork and other local frontier settlements"
Silver City was closed for over 15 years until it was purchased by
the Corlew family in 1990 and re-opened to the public shortly
thereafter. Over the years it had fallen in disrepair and had been
"modernized". The Corlew's have logged more than 20,000 man hours of
loving restoration work on the site. Many people have donated labor
and support (special thanks to Hal Brown and Don and Emily Diggles)
and materials to the effort.
It is now operated as a museum to the
Kern Valley's long and colorful history. Like Bodie Ghost Town in
Northern California, Silver City has adopted a policy of �arrested
decay�. Corlew says, �We want to show how local gold outposts may
have looked after the gold ran out and the miners moved on, we are
not trying to make it look brand new�. Visitors can go inside the
original Isabella jail (gunslinger, Newt Walker was locked up here
House which is believed to be the oldest standing structure in the
Valley houses a saloon and country store. Thousands of artifacts are
on display throughout the property. Other buildings are outfitted as
period miner�s cabins, post office and general store etc. The
church, "as rustic as those in Bodie", (Jim Carnal, The Bakersfield
Californian 5/16/92) is a favorite with many visitors. Helpful
posted information will take guests on a self guided tour.
City Ghost Town is listed on dozens of film location scout websites
as well as with The California Film Commission, The Los Angeles and
The Kern County Film Commission. It has been the site of numerous
film and video shoots since 1990 including use by Warner Chappell
Music, A & E, The History Channel's This Week in History and a
Nissan commercial. It has also been utilized for dozens of other
still photo projects, independent film shoots and student films.
Silver City has captured the essence and serenity of the best of
the historic mining camps in the Kern Valley in a non-commercial
museum like setting.
Owner and local
historian J. Paul Corlew is
knowledgeable about other settlement sites nearby and will guide
Ghost Town argonauts to these remnants of the "Kern Valley Diggin's"
that Silver City is haunted by spirits from that past and the site
is listed in the �National Directory of Haunted Places�. Which
brings to mind the question: Since most of the buildings were moved
to the present site over a quarter of a century ago, did the ghost's
move with the buildings or move in because it looked like home?
Corlew, once a doubting Thomas, heard many stories over the years of
poltergeist activity. But it was only after seven years of working
on the site that he had his first conclusive sighting. �When you and
two other people (all sober!) see a heavy miners lunch pail fly
twelve feet across a room unaided you become a believer real quick�,
says Corlew. Others have reported bottles floating in the air and
doors and windows opening and closing by themselves.
violin hanging in front of the general store sometimes seems to move
by itself and many have heard the strings pluck as they walk by,
according to Corlew. Reporter Kurt Rivera from Bakersfield�s
Channel 17 News (TV) station called Silver City �The most haunted
site in Kern County� after he and his television crew spent an eerie
night in The Apalatea/Burlando house a few years back.
Take a look at some of the many photos
taken at Silver City by visitors and staff alike over the years and
decide for yourself... apparition and orb photos.
In addition, check out Biography Channel�s �My Ghost Story� video
which explores decades of alleged hauntings on site in a great 9
minute video available for download on demand see link below.
Now open year round: Open 7 days per
week 10 AM-4 PM, 5 PM weekends, May 15th through September 14th.
Open weekends only 10 AM-4 PM September 15th through May 14th. Often
open other days by chance (and anytime by appointment)Open all major
holidays except New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Guided tours can be arranged (slightly
higher fee) and additional information may be obtained by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone:
Hours, days and dates of operation are subject to change. For latest
updates, posts & links (including information on lantern light
tours) go to facebook.com and search (and friend!) our curators page
"Jay Corlew". Check out the latest videos and film clips shot on
location (including the eerie Silver City Ghost Town segment shown
on Biography Channels "My Ghost Story") along with virtual tours of
the site and slide shows at:
and finally tweet us at:
There is a small general admission fee of $5.50 per person ages 13
to 113 years old, children 6 to 12 are $4.50 ea. and kids 5 and
under are FREE (when accompanied by a paid adult). All proceeds are
utilized for the continued restoration and preservation project on
site. No tax dollars are used to operate Silver City.
A word about navigation systems: GPS systems are often used by
visitors with uneven results in our area. We are very easy to find
and recommend you utilize an old fashioned map in conjunction with
any navi system. Generally speaking Highway 178 is the best route to
the Kern Valley from either the Ridgecrest area or from the
Bakersfield area. Silver City is located at 3829 Lake Isabella Blvd.
Bodfish, CA. 93205
That being said according to geocoder.us our coordinates are:
Latitude: 35.596986, Longitude: -118.491306
See you soon!
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