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new Bodie and Benton Railway and Commercial Co. - 1886 dated $1,000 California Railroad Bond

Inv# RB7524   Bond
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State(s): California
Years: 1886

$1,000 6% Gold Bond printed by Britton & Rey Lith. San Francisco. 6 coupons remain. Measures 15 1/4" x 20 1/4". The Bodie & Benton Railway was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge common carrier railroad in California, from the Mono Mills to a terminus in Bodie, now a ghost town, in Mono County. It was unusual among U.S. railroads in that it was completely isolated from the rest of the railroad system.

As the Bodie Railway & Lumber Company, the railroad was established in 1881 to link the gold-mining town of Bodie to the Bodie Wood and Lumber Company's newly built sawmill, Mono Mills, 32 miles south of Bodie along the eastern shore of Mono Lake. The line was completed and operational on November 14, 1881. Temporary spurs into timberlands were built in 1882.

Initial operations proved so successful that plans were made to extend a rail line from the Warm Springs station to the Carson and Colorado Railroad, then under construction, at Benton, California. Consequently, the company changed its name to the Bodie and Benton Railway and Commercial Company to reflect this. Construction on this extension was begun in 1882 and approximately nine miles were graded before construction ceased abruptly. No tracks were ever laid upon this grade. While the railway never gave an official justification for abandoning the project, the prevailing theory held by locals (at least as late as 1908) was that the owners of the lumber company at Mono Mills feared that access to the wider rail network would cause competition with other lumber operations in the Tahoe area in which they had a financial stake. Although the extension was never completed, the railway kept the name. In an ironic footnote, when the railway ceased to be profitable in 1918, due primarily to a decline in mining activity in Bodie, the rails and all valuable equipment were pulled up and sold. The rails and equipment were trucked from the southern terminus at Mono Mills along what is today State Route 120, to the rail line at Benton for transport south. At least some of the locomotives and rolling stock were reportedly sold to a plantation somewhere in Hawaii, while the rails and other equipment were shipped to the Philippines. Given the dates involved, this may have been to the Manila Railroad. Read more at

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Condition: Excellent

A bond is a document of title for a loan. Bonds are issued, not only by businesses, but also by national, state or city governments, or other public bodies, or sometimes by individuals. Bonds are a loan to the company or other body. They are normally repayable within a stated period of time. Bonds earn interest at a fixed rate, which must usually be paid by the undertaking regardless of its financial results. A bondholder is a creditor of the undertaking.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.