Ruth is a small town in White Pine County, Nevada, that was founded in 1903. It is a census-designated place, with a population in 2010 of 440.

Ruth was built as a company town for the adjacent Robinson Mine, a large open-pit copper mine, which is still in operation as of 2013.


Ruth began as a settlement for workers of the White Pine Copper Company in 1903. It derived its name from the Ruth mining claim which was named for Ruth McDonald, daughter of the original owner of the mining claim.

With the opening Nevada Northern Railway in the year 1906 copper production began to boom. By 1910 the settlement was already established a small distance from the first site. Ruth was a company town for the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company: the houses belonged to the mine and the city and were administered by them. Saloons and bordellos were not permitted in the company town but were plentiful in the neighboring community of Riepetown.

A mine explosion in Ruth on July 12, 1912 killed ten people.

In 1919 Ruth was the site of a labor dispute when 150 copper miners walked out demanding higher wages. Although some claimed the strike was instigated by the Industrial Workers of the World the leaders were actually from the Western Federation of Miners.

At the beginning of the Great Depression, Ruth had almost 2,300 inhabitants.

Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. was taken over by Kennecott Copper Corporation in 1933.

Ruth ceased being a company town in 1955 when the houses were sold to the John W. Galbreath Company. Occupants were given the opportunity to purchase the homes they had been renting. Around this time the town was moved two miles north to make way for expansion of the Deep Ruth mine.

In 1978 Kennecott closed the mines in Ruth and the town went into decline. The elementary school closed in 1986 and remains boarded up as of June 2011.

BHP reopened the mine in 1996. From 1996 to 1999, the BHP Nevada Railroad was based here. The mine closed again in 1999.

Quadra FNX Mining reopened the Robinson Mine in 2004. The mine has been sold to KGHM International Ltd. and continues to be in full production.

The Nevada Northern Railway Museum maintains some track in the area.

Ruth is the inspiration for the Stephen King novel Desperation.

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