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Once the most thriving mining town in the State of Washington. It had a population of several hundred in a beautiful mountain setup with one long street. For about six years it was the wildest, toughest mining camp of which there were many at the time in North Central Washington.

The town still exists as a ghost of its former self. Vandals, fire, weather, and neglect have reduced it to ruins which convey no hint of the fact that here stood, in the early 1880s, the liveliest little town in a lively county, the Babylon of Washington Territory, and Okanogan’s first official county seat. Whatever may have been lost when Ruby declined, the peace and dignity of the commonwealth enjoyed a decided gain. Its citizens were miners and the adventurers who commonly follow mining stampedes; quick trigger-fingers and bad whisky were predominant in its civic life. One of its leading citizens combined cattle-rustling with running a butcher shop, until cattlemen of the district descended on Ruby in a body, bringing a rope. The miners rallied to the defense of the butcher, who was esteemed for his generosity in “setting ‘em up” at the bar. Civil war threatened and Guy Waring, appointed prosecutor, proposed that the butcher be sent to Colville for trial. Though the miners insisted that the trial be held at Ruby, the accused was eventually started toward Colville under guard. His guards got drunk and let him escape; whereupon Waring issued warrants for the guards as well as for their erstwhile prisoner. All were freed after a trial held at Ruby.