Today we finally had the chance to drive south to Ruby, one of the top two, best preserved ghost towns of Arizona!
The road to Ruby is unpaved and rough. I would recommend a 4-wheel drive if you head that way.
Ruby is on private property & to explore the town, there is a $12/person fee (cash. Fees go to a non-profit foundation called the Ruby Mines Restoration Project). FYI, if you try to sneak in, you will most likely be sounded out by the happiest dog ever. ^_^ So don’t be a cheapskate.
To me, ghost towns always have an aura of creepiness. Ruby has to top that list out of all the ghost towns we’ve been to. It’s in the middle of nowhere and the only people we came across (other than the caretaker) were the occasional border patrol agents –who knows who else was out there.
Mining started in the 1870′s and peaked in the 1930′s when the population reached about 1,200. It consisted predominantly of camps. The mine closed in 1940 & by 1941, Ruby became a ghost town.
Peeking into the schoolhouse (grades K – 8) before realizing the entrance was in the back.
Outhouses. Splinter-butt, anyone?
No wonder why children didn’t live that long back then….
Slide of death.
Mine pad, warehouse, & assay office.
View of Ruby from atop the mine pad.
I think this is the assay office.
Interior of the assay office.
Deep ‘open’ shaft that houses up to 150,000 bats. Imagine the guano piling up in there…
That must be why the entrance is locked. The Sanitation Department must have been by….
White sandy beach of Mineral Lake. This seemed like a mirage –smack dab in the middle of the desert is a lake with a sandy beach. What? As it turns out, it’s not sand, but tailings –processed residue from the ball mill.
An adventurous caterpillar, spending the day exploring ghost towns.
No too shabby for two history nerds, eh? Eh?
Jail. With a kerosene can blocking the entrance. No nonsense capital punishment?
What is left of the notorious mercantile building.
The mercantile is the site of the infamous Ruby murders. The first incident occurred in the 1920′s when bandits robbed & killed the two owners of the mercantile. The second attack happened 14 months later when again, bandits killed the store’s new owners and robbed the place. The killings led to the largest manhunt in the history of the Southwest.
On that happy note…. we hope you enjoyed our adventure!
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