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Oro Belle Mining Co and the Ghost Town of Hart, California
The Hart or Castle Mountain mining district is located in
northeastern San Bernardino County, California near the
Nevada border. Gold was discovered in this region in
November 1907, and the area flourished for a many years.
For a time it was served by the Santa Fe Railroad and had
its own newspaper, the Enterprise.
“…I decided to branch out for myself and bought an assay
outfit and went to Hart.  I had been down here for the
company (Goldfield Consolidated Mining Co.) and there
was quite a boom on here. There were probably 800 people
at this camp prospecting and mining.  Had all the work I
could handle.   Everyone one was pretty much excited with
the showing of free gold, and trading was tough.  We had everything that went with a new mining boom. In the spring
of 1908, I optioned the best properties owned by Hart & Hitt, borrowed $1500.00 on my assay outfit and returned to
Duluth and Houghton (Michigan) to promote same and organize a mining company.”
From the diary of Worth B. Andrews
In the spring of 1909, the Oro Belle Mines Co. was established under
the laws of the State of Arizona, with Worth B. Andrews as president
and Calvert Wilson secretary.  The mine was first purchased on
option for $100,000 from the original gold rush prospectors Jim Hart
and brothers, Bert and Clark Hitt.  The company was formed with
capital stock of 1,000,000 shares valued at $1.00 each. Together
with the remaining directors (Robert J. Andrews, Thomas Merritt, and
Professor A. E. Seaman (Michigan School of Mines), Andrews and
Wilson were able to raise $75,000 in initial capital. Later the company
was reorganized under the laws of Nevada with head offices located
in Las Vegas.  The company was then known as the Oro Belle
Consolidated Mines Co.
“I hired J. C. Hartness, my friend
at Tombstone, Arizona as super-
intendant and he met me in Los
Angeles and we commenced
purchasing equipment, hoist,
tools and timber, etc. and started
operations.  Thus I was started
on my first mining venture."
The Oro Belle Mine as described later by Worth B. Andrews in his 1946 Diary, “When operations were suspended in
1918 there was a vertical shaft 815 ft deep with probably 3500 ft of lateral development.  Had the No. 1 vein exposed in
a tunnel about 190 ft west of the shaft and the Woodward vein just east of the shaft.  The vein on the 100 ft level was
Today Hart, California is a ghost town located along the historic 138.8 mile Mojave
Road in California's Mojave National Preserve.   These days finding Hart can be an
adventurous 2- or 3-day excursion, best made with a group of well-equipped off-
roaders or ghost town enthusiast.  The indisputable authority on a trip to this area
can be found in the book Mojave Road Guide, written by Dennis Casebier.  He has
spent decades traveling the Mojave trail and has an insatiable appetite for both
history and geology. One of the only remaining remnants of Hart’s existence today
is the chimney of the old Andrews’ residence and one collapsed stone building a
quarter mile south.
Spring 1909, I started building a home just on the west
edge of town.  The house ground plan was about 38 ft
square with a living room running across the entire
length of the front being 16 ft wide, with fireplace and
living room at one end and dining room at the other.  
Had two bedrooms and kitchen.  We were very proud of
the home and had many visitors including the folks that
summer.  Stella (wife) was a good house keeper and
The Andrews family continued to live in Hart until November 1917, and carried the
property until 1941 when it was sold to Mr. Hartman, manufacturer of mining machinery in
Los Angeles.
Hart, CA Townsite 1908
Andrews Geoscience, Inc. and REVEAL, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy 2014.
Old Andrews Residence Chimney
Built 1909 Hart, CA photographed 2011
Oro Belle Consolidated Mines, Co. Stock Certificate
Signed Worth B. Andrews
Oro Belle Mines, Hart California 1909
150 ft wide and mineralized all the way across.  It carried free gold ore with
no silver and was highly oxidized.  The No. 1 vein was about 10 ft wide and
picked up on the 100 ft level west of the shaft and cut by the vertical shaft
at 565 ft depth and carried values averaging around $8.00 per ton gold.  
The ore was all free milling and sulphides were encountered on the 700 ft
level but the veins were not developed in the sulphide zone.  It is my
opinion, a good mining prospect.”
Pumping Well at Hart, CA 1911
A pumping well was constructed by
Andrews in 1911 after the devastating
fire of 1910 destroyed down most of city.  
good cook and we were very happy, in our work.  We both enjoyed the desert country.”
He continues, “Hart was located on the west slope of the Piute Mt. range and our home
there overlooked the broad valley to the south.”
Plaque Donated in 1984 to mark the Historic Town of Hart, California
"