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Ruby is a populated place in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. It was founded as a mining town in Bear Valley, originally named Montana Camp, so named because the miners were mining at the foot of Montana Peak.

Ruby, Arizona
Ruby AZ in 1990
Ruby AZ in 1990
Ruby, Arizona is located in Arizona
Ruby, Arizona
Ruby, Arizona
Location in the state of Arizona
Ruby, Arizona is located in the United States
Ruby, Arizona
Ruby, Arizona
Ruby, Arizona (the United States)
Coordinates: 31°27′40″N 111°14′15″W / 31.46111°N 111.23750°W / 31.46111; -111.23750Coordinates: 31°27′40″N 111°14′15″W / 31.46111°N 111.23750°W / 31.46111; -111.23750
CountryUnited States
CountySanta Cruz
Elevation4,186 ft (1,276 m)
 (As of 2007 population 2)Sundog and partner are living in Ruby and welcome all visitors. Camping available upon request.
 • Total2
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST (no DST))
Post Office Opened:April 11, 1912
Post Office Closed:May 31, 1941


Schoolhouse in 2009
Ruby with view of Montana Peak

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.[2]

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. It is rumored to have been the first US Post Office. [3]

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.[4]

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.[2]

Ruby is one of the two best-preserved mining ghost towns in Arizona, along with the Vulture Mine near Wickenburg, Arizona. Ruby's attractions today include about 25 buildings under roof, including the jail and houses, the school, the playground, mine machinery, buildings and mine workings. Ruby is entirely on private property and there is a charge for admission to the site.[2]

There are occasional public tours offered through Pima Community College.[5]

Section of USGS Ruby, Arizona topographic map

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ruby
  2. ^ a b c Philip Varney, 1994, Arizona ghost towns and mining camps. Arizona Highways books, ISBN 0-916179-44-3
  3. ^ Granger, Byrd H. (1970) Arizona Place Names, pp. 323-324, Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, ISBN 0-8165-0009-6
  4. ^ "Ruby, Arizona - A Ghost Town Filled With Mining and Murder". Legends of America.
  5. ^ Pima College ST-210

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit