First Official Township on the eastward rush
Ghost Town (Unoccupied)
Circa 1859 to early 1900's
Monoville, also known as Mono Diggins; became the first resemblance of a township on the eastern side of the Sierra’s in California as nearby Dog Town Diggins (the first eastern strike), became over crowded. Prospectors camped at Dog Town Diggins began to explore areas further from camp in search of new prospects. In 1859 Cord Norst, a former Dog Town inhabitant struck a find while dry digging near the present day Conway Summit. Word of his success soon reached Dog Town and the mining camps to the west creating an eastward rush. Business men were among the hoards of people making their trek over the Sierra Mountains in to Mono Diggins. As the refined arrived a settlement began to form just below the diggins area and businesses were opened to support the needs of the prospectors and those arriving every day. Similar to Dog Town, prospectors employed a very basic means of Dry Panning and digging to extract gold in the gulches. The town peaked at about 700 residents following the winter of 1860, and every day the word of a growing settlement continued attracting new prospectors and explorers alike. Some settled in the camp of Dog Town but even more continued on south to the Mono Diggins and the newly formed Monoville.
Monoville became the staging point and key supply location for the hardier prospectors who preferred to venture out further on their own. North, South and East they would explore after gathering supplies at Monoville. One of those explorers was that of William S. Bodey, of whom the Historic town of Bodie was named. Bodey lost his life while returning from Monoville with supplies during a snow storm only months after locating pay dirt near the Historic town site that now bares his name. Quietly, word of Bodey and his strike slipped away in to the tranquil hills that acquired them. But the ongoing promotion of Aurora, following the strike of three other prospectors increasingly drew people out of Monoville which by the 1870s had shrunk by more than half of its residents. A lack of available resources caused many to dismantle whole buildings or transport them by wagon in to Aurora. By late 1880 there was not much left of Monoville, and the diggins above shrunk to a hand full of die hard prospectors living in shack homes which occupied the dry washes they named Rattlesnake and Bacon Gulch. Although the settlement had virtually disappeared, the diggins were consistently worked off and on in to the 1900's.