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Ruby ghost town in Arizona

Ruby ghost town in Arizona

Located in Southern Arizona near the Mexico/Arizona border, Ruby is a well-preserved ghost town that offers visitors a glimpse into Arizona’s rich mining history.​ Once the state’s largest zinc and lead-producing mine, Ruby reached its peak in the 1930s with a population of 1200 people.​

Boom to Bust⁚ The History of Ruby, Arizona

The town of Ruby was originally named Montana Camp after the first mining strike in the Montana vein in the late 1870s.​ Rich minerals were discovered by the Spaniards in the 1700s, but they left the area as the finds were not deemed valuable enough.​

It wasn’t until mining engineers Charles Poston and Henry Ehrenberg revived the Spanish placers in 1854 that mining operations began in earnest.​

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Over the years, other prospectors joined in, leading to the discovery of valuable veins of gold and silver.​ However, mining in Ruby was limited due to frequent attacks from the Apache tribe who inhabited the area.​ Despite these challenges, Ruby managed to thrive and grow into a bustling mining community.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many mining towns, Ruby experienced a decline when the ore ran out in 1940.​ The once-thriving community slowly turned into a ghost town, joining the countless other abandoned mining towns scattered across Arizona.​

What to Know About Visiting Ruby, Arizona

Today, visitors have the opportunity to explore the well-preserved remnants of Ruby.​ The town is privately-owned and open for tours on weekends.​ One of the highlights is witnessing the nightly flight of bats out of the old mine shaft.​ The town is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, offering outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.​

It is important to note that there is an entrance fee of $12 per person to explore the town, and all fees go towards the non-profit Ruby Mines Restoration Project. Sneaking into the town is strongly discouraged and likely to be detected by the friendly and alert resident dog.​

Ruby is located approximately 75 miles south of Tucson, accessible via Interstate 19 and Arivaca Road.​ Detailed information about visiting the town can be found on the official website of Ruby, including rates, directions, maps, and waivers.​

Preserving History⁚ The Restoration of Ruby

Despite being a ghost town, Ruby is undergoing restoration efforts.​ Visitors have the opportunity to contribute to the restoration by participating in volunteer work. For each day of work, visitors receive a day of play, allowing them to explore the town and experience its rich history.​

Ruby is regarded as one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Arizona. It is a testament to the state’s mining heritage and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past.​ From lawlessness and mayhem to stunning photographic opportunities, Ruby is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who venture into its historic streets.​