Maruba, CA & Ledge, CA (OX Cattle Company) (Mojave National Preserve)

 

The town of Ledge, CA was settled in the early 1900’s as a farming community and railroad station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in Lanfair Valley. The town only ever consisted of a dozen or so buildings. When the town applied for a post office, they were denied, due to another California community that had already been granted a post office under the name of Ledge. The town reapplied using the name Maruba, CA,  which was accepted.

The town eventually folded, and the land that Ledge once stood on became a cattle farm, which would eventually be known as the OX Cattle Company. The OX operated for many years, under a few different ownerships, it eventually succumbed to mounting environmental pressure in the 1990’s. The land was sold to the Mojave National Preserve in 2000. The cattle company buildings, water tanks, and fences remain today.

 

O.X. Cattle Company - This O.X. Cattle Co. water tank sites along Ivanpah Road.

O.X. Cattle Company – This O.X. Cattle Co. water tank sites along Ivanpah Road.

 

This little outpost in the middle of the Eastern Mojave Desert is used today by the Preserve for its Artist in Residence program. Depending on who the current artist in residence is, you may be able to get a personal tour of the grounds, and buildings.

Only one building remains from the Ledge era, it has been stabilized and left in a state of arrested decay.

 

O.X. Cattle Company - Barn and cattle chute

O.X. Cattle Company – Barn and cattle chute

 

O.X. Cattle Company - Water towers and windmill.

O.X. Cattle Company – Water towers and windmill.

 

 

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.