Historic ghost town of Ruby, AZ

Mining Camp from the Early 1900’s

 

Ruby, Arizona is a ghost town 50 miles southwest of Tucson and 4 miles north of the Mexico border. It is surrounded by the Coronado National Forest in an area of rugged mountains, semi-arid deserts and abundant wildlife.

1930's utility truck at the entrance to historic ghost town  Ruby, Az.  Photography by David Bygott

The area’s elevation of 4,200 feet supports both desert plants and range grasses along with mesquite, ash and oak trees.

Ruby was the largest mining camp in southwest Arizona

The first Europeans to visit the area were Spanish conquistadors in the late 1500’s. In the 19th century there was knowledge of gold and the region was referred to as “Oro Blanco” or white gold.

Rough terrain and low rainfall did not lend themselves to agricultural development over the years, but high mineral content in the area attracted prospectors with their dreams of wealth.

Later, as the colonists moved west, there was an influx of adventurers, mountain men, ranchers and miners.

The first strike in the Montana vein was in the late 1870’s, and by the turn of the century, Ruby had become the largest mining camp in the area. A post office was located here from 1910 to 1940.

Bustling mining camp becomes ghost town

This historic ghost town of Ruby, Arizona is rich in the history of life at the turn of the century. The mining company left behind equipment and buildings that supported the operation of Montana Mine, which closed in 1940. The miners and their families left behind their one-room school, the playground, the merchantile and a rich vision of their everyday life in Ruby, Arizona.

Visit the ghost town of Ruby, Arizona

Ruby Road heading south from Arivaca is 12 miles long and half is dirt today. The road is generally in good condition except during the monsoon season and then you should call ahead before making the drive. Imagine the trip in 1930 when a Ford or Packard or buckboard pulled by horses was the means of transportation.

 

Ghost Town history, ecology and visitor information