2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (roo' bee)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Watering Point, Washeteria, Electric, Landfill, Health Clinic, Volunteer Fire/Rescue/Ambulance, Public Safety Facility, Fire Hall, Community Hall, Teen Center, Library, Roads,Public Campground, Airport Maintenance (State Contract), Roads, Community Freezer, Sawmill, Suicide Prevention
Geography and Climate
- Ruby is located on the south bank of the Yukon River, in the Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains. It is about 50 air miles east of Galena and 230 air miles west of Fairbanks. Ruby lies adjacent to the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The area experiences a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average daily high temperature during July is in the low 70s; the average daily low temperature during January ranges from 10 to below 0 °F. Sustained temperatures of -40 °F are common during winter. Extreme temperatures have been measured from -53 to 98 °F. Annual precipitation averages 17 inches, with 66 inches of snowfall. The river is ice-free from mid-May through mid-October.
History and Culture
- Ruby's current residents are Koyukon Athabascans of the Nowitna-Koyukuk band, a nomadic group who followed game with the changing seasons. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Ruby developed as a supply point for gold prospectors. It was named after the red-colored stones found on the riverbank that prospectors thought were rubies. Two gold strikes, one at Ruby Creek in 1907 and another at Long Creek in 1911, attracted hundreds of prospectors to the area. At one time, over 1,000 white miners lived in Ruby and the nearby creeks. Placerville, Poorman, Sulatna Crossing, Kokrines, and Long Creek were some of the area's boom settlements. A post office was established in 1912, and Ruby incorporated as a city in 1913. Initially, the city was governed by miners' meetings, then later by Pioneer Igloo Number 5. After the gold rush, the population declined rapidly. By 1939, there were only 139 residents. During World War II, the mining operations were shut down, and most of the white residents left. After the war, the remaining residents of nearby Kokrines relocated to Ruby, and the population began to increase. Ruby incorporated as a second-class city in 1973. A clinic, a watering point, and schools were constructed in the 1970s. During the 1980s, telephones and television services were provided.
- The traditional Athabascan culture and subsistence practices are the focal point of village life.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Ruby
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Ruby is accessible by air and water. A state-owned lighted, gravel airstrip is available. There are no docking facilities on the Yukon River, but a boat launch and barge off-loading area are available. Barges make several deliveries each summer. Float planes land on the Yukon River. Trucks, snow machines, ATVs, and riverboats are used for local transportation. Numerous trails and the 35-mile road to Long Creek Mine to the south are used for subsistence activities.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection