Incorporated in 1887, the Ore Belt Railroad began as an attempt to link Cedartown to the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia near Cave Spring in hopes of stimulating the development of iron and manganese mining in the area. Due to insufficient investment capital, nothing happened until 1900 when Southern Railway, successor to the ETV&G, began building a spur to certain mineral deposits southeast of Cave Spring. The Ore Belt's owners objected, noting that their charter gave them exclusive railroad rights to the area. Southern then purchased all of the Ore Belt's stock and completed a 6-mile line to the mines in August 1900. Additional branches later gave the railroad a total length of about 16 miles.
The lines were in operation at least until 1916.