It is believed that the first settler in Oro Grande was Aaron G. Lane, who set up a homestead next to the Mojave River in 1858. Lane’s Crossing catered to those traveling the Mojave Trail even before gold was discovered in the area in 1873. The first post office was opened in 1881 and was named Halleck before being changed several times. In 1927 the community became known officially as Oro Grande.

In terms of Route 66 history, perhaps the most important landmark began in 1907 with the opening of the Riverside Cement Co., which is still in operation in Oro Grande. This company would have been heavily involved in the paving of Route 66 in the area.

In addition to many historic properties in Oro Grande, the community is also home to the oldest cemetery in San Bernardino County. The first recorded burial in the cemetery occurred in 1852, although the cemetery is believed to also be the final resting place of many Native Americans that inhabited the area prior to the cemetery’s official opening.

By Scott Piotrowski