ORO GRANDE, CA RT66
Long ago, before Route 66 passed through Oro Grande, California, the community bustled. In the late 1800's, the Indians established a trading post with the adventurous Mormons, who passed through here while making their way from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Bernardino, California. Oro Grande is 3000' high in the Mojave Desert of southern California, about 45 miles north of San Bernardino and 90 miles from Los Angeles.
During the period of gold discoveries, one of the mines was named Oro Grande, or Big Gold. Miners flocked to Oro Grande and established homes and a post office.
Soon, the railroad was built through the Cajon Pass to Oro Grande. For awhile the town was named Halleck, however, eventually it was changed back to Oro Grande.
In those days, a weekly stage coach from the Butterfield Company brought passengers along the dry Mojave River bed though Oro Grande on their way to the Panamint; a range of mountains about 200 miles north. The lure of gold and silver in the Panamints brought miners in search of their fortune. The old stage stop in Oro Grande was replaced by a more modern structure in the early 1900's.
In 1907, a cement plant was started near the rail line running through Oro Grande. Using cottonwood from the riverbank as fuel, a crude lime was used in mixing the mortar.
Abandoned buildings are ghostly reminders of the little towns' history. Driving the National Trails Highway, it's easy to spot the abandoned buildings standing as ghostly reminders of another time. A few miles beyond Oro Grande, on old Route 66, stand three rock buildings; one said to be an old stage stop.
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