Abandoned America: Oro Grande on Route 66 Near Victorville, CA

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Just north of Victorville, on National Trails Highway, aka Route 66, lies the small town of Oro Grande.  The town was established in the 1880s, as gold and silver were found in the region and was named after the first mine found.  These days, the center of town is mostly a tourist stop, with several antique stores, a pizza shop, and several old buildings.  

Driving along Route 66, you can’t miss this van as you approach the town.  It’s an ad for Crossed Eyed Cow Pizza, which is directly across the street from the van.  Notice that Brad Pitt is telling you to go there too.  

Crossed Eyed Cow Pizza van in Oro Grande on Route 66, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.


Here’s Cross Eyed Cow Pizza, and I have to say, I’m a sucker for places with little oddities that make it interesting.  More on that soon.  

As mentioned, there are several antique stores that you can visit.  

And on the side of the building opposite the Cross Eyed Cow is this wonderful mural of Route 66.  

In one store, it was 50% off Pink day.  Of course, that could be every day…

I had to spend a little time at the Cross Eyed Cow, it was filled with curiosities.  It serves pizzas such as the Unlucky Cow, with Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Beef and Salami, or the Iron Hog, which has Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Bacon and Canadian Bacon.   But fear not, healthy west coast people, it also has a hippie veggie if the aforementioned pizzas are too much.  Here’s a close up of the sign and the obligatory cow, I couldn’t tell if the cow at the top was cross-eyed. 

The sides of the building was well decorated. 

This is the back entrance.

I like this car door with the colorful cow which was the entrance to the back patio. 

Right above the car door is a winged pig attached to a pitchfork which is attached to a post. 

There’s also a cow in a dress on the back fence.

I opened the cow door / gate, and was surprised to hear a cowbell.  I looked more closely and realized the car door was attached to a wire which was attached to a hammer.  It’s a bit hard to see, but the hammer is connected to a cowbell which sounds when the car door moves.  Cute.  

Ok, I’m sure you’re thinking, enough of Cross Eyed Cow PIzza.  

On the same block is the Bank of Oro Grande building, established in 1860 as the sign says. 

Bank of Oro Grande building in Oro Grande on Route 66, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.


I couldn’t resist going around back.  It was pretty empty on the inside. 

Just up the street was this round red building.  It’s faint, but at the top, you can see “Club 66”.  I wonder what it was like to hang out there. 


A block or two north is the old Mohawk Mini Mart and service station.  An old garage is also part of the complex.  You can see that the canopy above one of the gas station islands has collapsed.  

Mohawk Mini Mart, Oro Grande on Route 66, CA. Photo by Ming Lo

I couldn’t help looking inside.  

This is the garage. 

Back just south of the bank building, I found this interesting building.  Seemed like rooms with a carport for each unit, and I like the color pattern.  



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