Ruby Hill

In 1869, an Indian led Owen Farrel, M.G. Clough, and Alonzo Monroe to a rich strike, and the men subsequently located two mines: the Buckeye and the Champion. With the rush to Eureka in the early 1870s, the camp of Ruby Hill developed near the mines. By 1873, several businesses and mining companies operated in town and that year the post office was opened. In 1875, the Ruby Hill Railroad was completed to the smelters in Eureka; dubbed the "3x3" due to its three-foot gauge and three mile length.

Ruby Hill reached its peak in 1878, when its population reached 2500. The town had an array of stores and shops, schools, a theater, Miners' Union, brewery, and Methodist, Episcopal, and Catholic churches. Within the next two years, two newspapers were in publication: the Ruby Hill Mining Report and Ruby Hill Mining News. In 1880, the population was still recorded at over 2000.

By the mid-1880s, mining slowed and Ruby Hill began to decline. In 1885, the population was down to only 700. Activity slowed until the turn of the century, and in 1901 the post office finally closed. Ruby Hill was quiet for the next few years, but in 1906 a revival began when the Richmond-Eureka Consolidated Mining Company completed a large, $200,000 smelter. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm in 1910 washed out the railroad, bringing that revival to an end.

In subsequent years, Ruby Hill has been the site of intermittent work. Most notably, new steel buildings were constructed and shafts sunk in the late 1940s, but these were plagued by flooding at lower levels. Nevertheless, some work (mostly leasing) has continued sporadically until recent years.

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