Ruby, or as it was called previous to incorporation, Ruby City, came into existence in the late 1880s. Rich discoveries of silver ore were made in the Okanogan County, prospectors and miners flocked their in large numbers.
Ruby, queen city of the Okanogan mining boom. In 1892-93 Ruby had 29 buisness including six general stores
Seven miles southeast of Conconully was started the town of Ruby. Within a brief period it had become one of the liveliest and best known mining camps in the Northwest. For a quarter of a mile on each side of a single graded street it was built up solidly. Nearly every brand of trade was engaged in by an exceedingly busy population. With the formation of Okanogan County, in March 1888, Ruby became temporary county seat.
This honor it continued to hold until February 9, 1899, when the voters decided to make Conconully the capital of the county. A large force of men were employed at Ruby during the "good old times." The mines were located on the high ridge that rises abruptly from the town on the south.
Ruby gained a population of several hundred people. A finely equipped and expensive concentrator was built one-half mile east of town, and a wire tram constructed from the mill to the mines on Ruby Ridge, quite a distance away. The citizens of Ruby decided to incorporate in 1890.
On August 4, 1890 a petition was presented to the commissioners asking for the privilege to vote on the question. And on August 23, 1890 the proposition for incorporation was carried, and Ruby became a town.
The price of silver fell in the fall of 1892. To continue working the mines would be unprofitable, they were closed down. People moved away, leaving vacant houses unprotected, the once flourishing town was depopulated. For some time the scores of buildings, business, and houses remained solitary and empty, sad reminders of a town that had seen better days.
Then came vandals who stripped the houses of all that could be carried away. Buildings, fences and sidewalks fell into decay and the city presented a decidedly dilapidated appearance.
If you want to visit a site where once saloons were full, gunfights reportedly were common, and the inhabitants, mostly miners, experienced fires, floods, and the fear of Indians on the warpath, Ruby is definitely the place to go. Today as you drive past trees lining both sides of the road, all you will see is the indentations surrounded by stones that served as foundations. The trees creak in the wind, and perhaps that was the laugh of a miner, the fall of a pick on a rock high up in the mountains.
Ruby City Ghost Town Site GPS Coordinates:
N48° 29.872 W119° 43.503'
UTM 11U 0298696E 5375224N
Using Map Datum WGS84