Camp Ruby, also known as Ruby, is on Farm Road 1276 sixty-five miles northwest of Beaumont in south central Polk County. A community was established at the site before the Civil War; by 1880 residents referred to it as Old Hope. A temporary post office, named Rhoden, was opened in the summer of 1880. Another post office, called Charity, was in operation from 1896 to 1911. The site was renamed Camp Ruby when the W. T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company established a logging camp there in 1926. According to local lore, A. B. Clayton was sent to select a good site; having chosen the heavily wooded area of Old Hope, Clayton renamed it after an acquaintance named Ruby Moore. The location became a major logging camp for the Carter sawmills. A tram line linked Camp Ruby to Camden, which lay on the Moscow, Camden and San Augustine Railroad. As the timber around Camp Ruby was cut out, the Carter Lumber Company shifted logging operations to other areas. Camp Ruby's population thus dwindled to about twenty-five by the early 1940s. The completion of U.S. Highway 190 led many of the residents to move two miles west to a community called New Camp Ruby on the highway. The Camp Ruby oilfield, discovered in the mid-1960s, has yielded moderate amounts of oil and natural gas, and additional discoveries were made in the early 1980s. Camp Ruby's voting box was restored on May 26, 1969. In 1990 and again in 2000 the population was thirty-five.
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Camp Ruby by the Numbers
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