The town’s relative youth and brief time of abandonment make Eagle Mountain among the country’s best preserved ghost towns. Eagle Mountain is located at the entrance of the now-defunct Eagle Mountain iron mine. As the mine expanded, Eagle Mountain eagle project proposal pdf to a peak population of 4000.
It had wide, landscaped streets lined with over four hundred homes, some with as many as four bedrooms. Kaiser then purchased the idle mines from the Southern Pacific as a source of high-grade iron ore. Production at Fontana was initiated during World War II, increased iron shipments began in 1948, and a mining town was constructed below what was soon to become Southern California’s largest iron mine. Ore shipments to Fontana steel plant began in October, with five to eight 100-car trains running weekly.
The mine’s 100 millionth ton of iron ore shipped was commemorated in a ceremony in August 17, 1977. Increased environmental concerns in the 1970s led to a reduction in iron output and a drop in population to a low of 1980. In the summer of 1980 the mine shut down briefly, reopening on September 23. On November 3, 1981, Kaiser Corporation announced the phasing out of half the Fontana works and the entire Eagle Mountain Mine operation over several years. The population dwindled as layoffs began. The grocery store closed in October 1982 and the post office, which had been active since 1951, closed in 1983. In June of that year the last official graduating class celebrated their commencement at Eagle Mountain High School, followed by closing of both the mine and mill.