OLD RUTH

By Mary Sorenson

Ruth, the company’s other town in the district, had received its name from the Ruth claim, which in turn had been named by D. C. McDonald in honor of his daughter Ruth. The first houses at Ruth, if we expect the stone cabin erected by Edwin Gray and David Bartley who were partners in Mining Claims in 1903. The two cabins erected by Mark Requa in 1903 near the Ruth mine in Ingersoll Canyon, to house his family while the work of exploration and development was carried on. In 1904, a mill was built by the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, and Ruth’s post office opened on February 8th of that year.

In 1905 Ruth had 100 employees, a hospital clinic building, two dozen bunkhouses, a boarding house, a post office and a few commercial buildings.

In 1906 the Nevada Northern Railway came rolling into town, and copper production increased. The mine’s developments had been all underground to this point, but starting in Summer 1907 steam shovels were used to strip overburden from the area.

By 1910, a large oval pit called the Eureka Pit was formed. In 1916, this pit and another were combined to create the massive Liberty pit. Meanwhile, to make room for the growing mine, Ruth was moved a short distance away. By 1910, Ruth had become a company town for the Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. and was home to around 500. There were bunkhouses, a boarding house, and a hospital in town and all utilities were provided by the Company. Saloons and bordellos were forbidden, so miners had to seek that entertainment elsewhere.  Even though a dry town set up by the company two bars were stabled in Ruth.  Ruth continued to grow, reaching a peak population of over 2,200 just before the Depression.