Ghost Towns, Ruby, Arizona
Ruby Ghost Town
We drove out to the Ghost Town of Ruby on a Saturday morning and explored the grounds until it got dark. The drive out was pretty rough in some areas with 13 miles of windy dirt roads. I read that a sedan can make the trip, but I would advise against that. It took us approximately 90 minutes each way in a high clearance truck due to the rocky road conditions. Since there is no cell service and barely any one around for miles, bring a spare and plenty of water.
Expect to spend the whole day to explore the site since there are tons to see. The buildings are spread out, so we drove throughout the property to save time. You can walk inside all structures unless noted and even camp if you wish. This is one of the largest and intact ghost towns I have come across so far.
Mining started around 1877. The Montana Mine produced gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper. At its peak in the mid-1930s, Ruby had a population of about 1,200. On April 11, 1912 the mining camp's general store owner Julius Andrews established the post office. Andrews named the post office "Ruby" after his wife Lille B. Ruby Andrews and the mining camp soon became known as Ruby. The post office was discontinued on May 31, 1941.
Between 1920 and 1922, the town of Ruby, or the desert nearby, was the scene of three gruesome double homicides committed by Mexican rebels or bandits. Together these incidents are known as the Ruby Murders, which led to the largest manhunt in the history of the Southwest. The most prosperous period for Ruby was in the late 1920s and 30s, when the Eagle-Picher Mining Company operated the mine and upgraded the camp. From 1934 to 1937, the Montana mine was the leading lead and zinc producer in Arizona. In 1936, it was third in silver production. The mine closed in 1940, and by the end of 1941 Ruby was abandoned.