in the RUBY, ALASKA Mining District

Including the towns of Ruby, Long and Poorman

1907 - WW2

Following a gold stampede to Ruby in 1910 came the business's to provide the miner's wants and needs. By 1911 wood frame buildings were going up at a rapid pace replacing the tents that first housed the outfitters, saloons and stores. Two sawmills provided the large amount of lumber needed to build a town. By 1912 Ruby was a busy community. Reports of new gold strikes seemed to be occurring constantly. More men were coming into the area to search for gold or work for wages on the claims.

For the next five years Ruby's businesses thrived. Though the mines were thirty to fifty miles away and the small towns of Long and Poorman had sprung up near them Ruby had the logistic position of being on the Yukon River. Men, supplies and equipment came in by river on sternwheeler or barge and the gold was shipped out the same way.

By 1918 Many of Ruby's men had left to fight in WWI. Then in the fall of that year many of the businessmen from the community perished in the sinking of the Princess Sophia. Ruby would never be the same.

A fire in 1929 destroyed much of the Ruby business district. A flood in 1931 destroyed most of the buildings on the waterfront area that were left after the fire. Today Ruby's businesses consist primarily of a general store and a fuel station.

Dates given here indicate the first verification of a businesses existence or the date of a picture or reference though it may have been in existence previously. The roads refered to as Front Street and First Avenue in Ruby appear to be the same street.

In Ruby


Clark Hotel (Roadhouse) (source p 35). On Olson Street across from the jail. Later renamed Johnny May's Show Hall (source p 35) (Source p 289).

Pete Johnson General Store on Front Street

Northern Commercial Co. (Source P 5). As lumber was scarce in Ruby's vary early days the NC store first opened on a covered barge docked at Ruby (Source P 284). The barge can be seen in many 1911 postures of Ruby's waterfront.

Merchants Cafe and Our House Saloon   Legal action was taken against Alex Smith when he couldn't pay for the construction of the building.

Ruby Poorman Telephone Co.  Owned by G.A. Olson. Had lines to New York Creek by October 1911. (Source P 6)(Source P 47).

Skookum's Eating House (P26) (source 24).

The Citizen Newspaper Merged with the Ruby Record to become the Record-Citizen.


January 1912, Front Street in Ruby. Among the businesses are the Paystream Saloon, California Cafe & Bakery, Anderson's drugstore, Boolm's Hardware. A. D. T. Message Company and the Grand Cafe which advertises 'Oriental Noodles'.


There were two sawmills in Ruby. One at the east end of town and Simon's at the West end. The Independent and Simon's. Northern Comerica Company moved it's Dikeman store(Source p 140) from Iditarod to Ruby in 1912 (P 286). Other businesses included Johnson and Jepson miners tools (Source) , Arnulf Harvy's Grocery store and Shell Wettach's, Capt. Crain had greenhouses and a vegetable farm, Bernbaum's Mercantile, Lynn Smith's Jewelry, Sickenger's Furniture, Bloom's hardware. Jaffe's Clothing Store. The Bank of Ruby, Wells Fargo Freight Office, Giffords Tent Factory and a blacksmith shop. For entertainment Ruby had a bowling alley, The Opheum Theatre(source P 26) , Griffin's Pavilion Hall (dance hall) and across the creek "The Row" (houses of ill repute). There were several eating establishments including the Oriental Noodle House, two hotels and  a bakery(source p 20). There were no shortage of saloons and bars: The senate, Spitz's, Hoxie's, Paystreak (Source) , Our House, The Northern and Jack McDonald's (source p 25).

Senate Saloon, Ruby City Laundry, Mercants Cafe, Our House (saloon), AM Capewell (food store?), (Source).

On First Avenue Ruby, Alaska. Businesses that are identifiable starting on the left and going down the street: The Fraction Saloon (source p 24), The Cascade Laundry and Baths; Bloom's hardware, a lunch counter, Alabam's, a barber's shop, Pioneer Drug Store, a sign over the street advertising N. N. Jaffe Clothing & Furnishing; coming back up the street on the right; is an outfitters, a barber shop, California Cafe Bakery, and a hardware store.

Ruby had two doctors and two hospitals (Source P 54).


First Avenue in Ruby. Businesses from left up street then back to right edge: Comet barber shop?, Anderson's Drug Store, a business operated by Jack McDonald, The California Cafe & Bakery, furthest identifiable establishment on the right side of the street is A. Haarvei Outfitter & Grocery, Basil Clemmons Photography shop (an Eastman Kodak Co.), and the Pioneer Drug Store and Post Office.

1912-13 ??

First Avenue, Ruby. The Identifiable businesses are from left to right: Bloom's Hardware., Lunch Counter Restaurant, G. F. Mayhood Cigar & Pool Room, Alabam's, Northern, Our House Saloon operated by Jack McDonald, A. Haarvei Outfitter & Grocery, Riverside Cafe, Pioneer Drug Store, Anderson's Drug Store, a barber shop, The Senate, a messenger service company, California Cafe Bakery and the Paystreak Saloon.


Ruby Development Company was formed by Ruby business men to encourage development in the area. (Source P 10)

1st Ave with California Cafe Bakery on the right. Mayhood's pool room across the street (image).

Views from near the cemetery (Image). (Image).

Fox farm in Ruby (Image)


The Record-Citizen newspaper. Closed in 1918.


Ruby Hospital (source p 25).


The Northern Commercial Company  Was managed by T.A. Parsons in 1921 (P 47).


Wireless telegraph station


June Main Street Ruby. Not much of the business community is recognizable in this photo.

Pacific International Airways   Provided air service and mail to Ruby in the late 20s.


Fire destroyed the waterfront business district. 23 buildings on front street burned.


Flooding at break up sent huge chunks of ice against the shore destroying what was left of the buildings on the water side of Front street after the fire of 1929. After 1931 floods the NC store was sold to Tom DeVane.


Telegraph operated by US Signal Corp was discontinued and replaced by a commercial telegraph and radiophone station. (Source P 126)


NC bought the store back from Tom DeVane in 1939. It was managed by Charlie Carlo (Source P 52).

Dodson Air Service provided service to Ruby and the surrounding mines.


One of the first four instrument flying "Range Stations" in Alaska was installed at Ruby.

Unsure of the Year

Capewell  House   A hotel (Source P 289)

Ira Griffin's Pavilion Hall   Dance hall (Source P 289)

Granite Creek Mining Co (Source P 292)

Miscovich Mining Co. (P 7)

Niehof and Indergard Mining Company (Source P 289)

Ruby Roadhouse (Circa late 30s-40s) (Source P 292-3)

Slaughterhouse  Located on the flats back of town (Source P47).

Teelands Blacksmith Shop  In downtown (Source P47)

Ruby Bank  Closed in 1918 (Source P43)

Ruby Bath House. Building is still standing and the sign is barely readable.

Long City

10 mile Roadhouse On the trail between Ruby and Long.

14 Mile Roadhouse On the trail between Ruby and Long (P38)

Discovery Roadhouse, on Sherborn Ave. in Long (P31)

Long Creek Mining Co. Worked Long Creek in 1937 (Source P 17). Built their own airstrip in 1940 (P51) (Source P 292)

Wild Goose Roadhouse (P 35) (Photo P37)

Yukon Gold Company   Owned by the Guggenheims took over Greenstone Creek in 1915. (P 9)

Sinclair Brothers Mining

Strandberg Mines, Inc.


Peter Miscovich and Sons In the mid 30s were the largest mining operation in Poorman. (P51) (Source P292)


At the time of the discovery of gold in Ruby there was a telegraph station at Melozi across the river from Ruby. It was part of the Alaska Communications System, ACS, operated by the millitary.

Air service to Ruby began in the 1920s. Some of the pilots who flew into Ruby were:

Crossen, Young, Lynn, Frank Dorlbrant, Ross, Barnhill, Sam White, Jim Dodson, Don Stickman, Noel Wien.


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