Monday, November 07, 2005

The lost spike has been found!!!

From: "Walter Gray" WGRAY@parks.ca.gov

David Hewes (1822-1915), a prominent San Francisco land developer and brother-in-law of Leland Stanford, is the man who gave the Gold Spike that was used at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869, to mark the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The mold and casting of the spike(s) was done in 1869 by William T. Garratt, brass and bell founder of San Francisco, who then turned them over to Schulz, Fischer & Mohrig for finishing. The original Schulz et al invoice of May 4th, 1869, survives at Stanford University. It itemizes "Finishing 2 Gold Spikes, Engraving 381 letters at 4 Cts," and "1 Velvet Box." Most scholars have assumed that "Finishing 2 Gold Spikes" was the Gold Spike and the attached large surplus gold that filled the gate of the mold, known as the "sprue." Now we know that there were actually two Gold Spikes!

The first Gold Spike was engraved with 381 letters and the projected completion date of May 8th, 1869. E. P. Durant's UP train was delayed and the ceremony at Promontory did not occur until May 10th. The "sprue" was made afterwards into keepsake rings and small spikes and several of these still survive. Returned to the donor, the Gold Spike was presented to Stanford University in 1892 by David Hewes along with his considerable art collection.

The Stanford Gold Spike, or an inferior brass replica created for security reasons, have been displayed in the Stanford Art Museum for decades. CSRM has borrowed the original gold and Nevada silver spikes on many occasions since 1981, most recently for the September 9th-11th opening of the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park.

The second Gold Spike was similarly engraved after the Promontory event. It bears subtle differences: the name "Central Pacific Railroad" in place of "The Pacific Railroad" and the actual completion date of May 10th, 1869. Five detailed photographs of this spike, with the sprue still attached, are on page 250 of a privately printed history of the Hewes Family edited by Eben Putnam and published in 1913. The Hewes Family and descendants have quietly held the second or "lost" Gold Spike for 136 years.

In April 2005, a brother and sister, fifth generation descendants of David Hewes, concluded to place the Hewes Family spike and other items on consignment with a Southern California dealer. CSRM began discussions, research and intense negotiations in May. This past week, Stephen Drew and Kyle Wyatt authenticated the spike on-site, consummated the purchase, and transported the Gold Spike to CSRM.

Kudos are due colleague Bill Withuhn, Curator of Transportation at the Smithsonian Institution, who alerted Museum Director Cathy Taylor that the spike was available. The purchase was made from the Museum's Opportunity Acquisition Fund managed by the Museum Foundation.

The spike and sprue measure 9-1/2 inches in length. The artifact weighs 444.5 grams which equates to 14.2 ounces. The spike is 17-6/10 carat gold, alloyed with copper.

19 Comments:

Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman" wendellhuffman@hotmail.com

Congratulations!

11/07/2005 4:58 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Edson T. Strobridge" etstrobridge@fix.net
Subject: The lost spike has been found!!! ( 0r - The original Gold Spike is still missing !!!!! )

I enjoyed Chris Graves description; "another gold spike" ? (the question mark is mine)

Allow me to explain. First, and most importantly, the "missing gold spike" is the original Gold Spike that David Hewes presented to Leland Stanford on May 4, 1869. The gold spike referred to in the Nov. 7, 2005 issue of the CSRM's "Inside Track," FYI and the subject of the below email, is obviously the companion spike to the "Golden Spike" used at the Promontory ceremony on May 10, 1869 and finally accounts for the "2 Gold Spikes" indicated on the Schulz, Fischer & Mohrig receipt, originally discovered by Robin Lampson in 1937 and now reposing at Stanford University. The original Hewes gold spike, the one we all know as one of the two gold spikes that were presented (the second by Frank Marriott of the San Francisco News Letter) to Leland Stanford and used in the ceremonies at Promontory on May 10, 1869 are both unaccounted for.

This national treasure is missing and has been since it was placed in the Stanford University Museum sometime after 1892 and before 1936. Mr. Robin Lampson, who discovered the original jewelers receipt in 1937 and determined that the Stanford gold spike was a replica, spent many years of extensive research trying to determine what happened to the original Gold Spike. He offers several possible theories as to what might have occurred but makes a convincing argument that the original gold Spike may have disappeared (stolen) at the time of the reported looting of the Stanford Museum during the time of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and subsequently replaced with the fake replacement spike, a mystery that remains to this day.

Of course the San Francisco Newsletter Gold Spike was never accounted for and that for the moment, leaves both the original Gold Spikes missing.

Robin Lampson reviews a comparison of the original Hewes Spike and the replica spike at the Stanford Museum and reprints an article originally published in the Richmond Independent of August 19, 1969 "THE COMPLETE COMPARISON." The differences are great and there is no doubt that the Stanford spike is not the original Hewes spike. J.N. Bowman of the California State Library was taken in on his detailed report of "Driving the Last Spike" thesis printed in The California Historical Society Quarterly of June & September 1957 and who provides a photo of the replica spike believing it to be the original. It is a photo of the same spike Lampson shows in his paper as seen by he and his wife on May 26, 1969 and describes it as replica.

To review Robin Lampson's "The Golden Spike is Missing" you will find it at one of our favorite Museums.

I take exception to CSRM's "Inside Track" FYI descriptions describing "The Stanford Gold Spike, or inferior brass replica created for security reasons." I am of the opinion that this replica was originally made to cover up the disappearance of the original gold spike and that Stanford University Museum cannot produce the original or provide a reasonable answer as to its whereabouts. The "security" reason is not true. The CSRM is in error when they claim to have "borrowed the original gold spike on many occasions since 1981." Only the crudely made forgery still exists at Stanford, the original Gold Spike is missing and the nation has been led to believe all is well at Stanford University.

On a lighter side I was pleased that news of the second Hewes spike, heretofore unknown to historians, at least until the Hewes receipt was found by Lampson in 1937, has finally been made public. It was never lost as it has been in the possession of the Hewes family descendants for all these years who in April 2005 made it known by their interest in selling it. These two Hewes gold spikes may have been finished and polished by Schulz, Fischer & Morig at the same time but they were not engraved at the same time. It seems apparent that Mr. Hewes had other intentions for the use of the second spike as evidenced by the different engraving. It was engraved sometime after the Promontory ceremonies and may only have intended it to be a personal keepsake as it was not engraved until after the event occurred as evidenced by the May 10, 1869 date. (days, months or years later ??)

Even though this second spike has an interesting history and is certainly connected to Hewes interest in the completion of the Central Pacific it has no place in the history of the colossal accomplishments of the builders of our first transcontinental railroad. It was not given to Stanford, was not sent to Promontory nor used in the ceremonies and so far as anyone has reported to date no mention has ever been found in any contemporary reporting. I only hope that the CSRM officials identify it so that visitors to the Museum will not walk away with the impression that it had anything to do with the building of the Central Pacific Railroad and is nothing more than a Hewes family memento of the event.

I would welcome anyone coming forth that would prove my comments or Robin Lampson's extensive research in error by certifying that the original Hewes Gold Spike still exists in the care of the Stanford University Museum Archives and allow for the experts from the CSRM to examine it. The Nation would be grateful.

—Ed Strobridge, San Luis Obispo, CA

11/08/2005 4:52 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Four gold spikes:

To summarize the current understanding, there are actually four gold "last" spikes:

1) The gold last spike presented to Leland Stanford by David Hewes which was engraved prior to the ceremony, stating an incorrect completion date of May 8, 1869, is still missing, but is shown in a five view printed photograph in the David Hewes autobiographical chapter published in 1913 (also shown in an original two view photograph now at the University of the Pacific found in the Hewes family trunk by Professor Robin Lampson in 1937 along with the May 4, 1869 receipt for finishing and engraving this spike). This gold spike was gifted to Stanford University by David Hewes in the 19th century, but cannot currently be located.

2) The San Francisco News Letter's gold last spike that was presented to Leland Stanford and used in the ceremony at Promontory on May 10, 1869 is still missing.

3) The companion David Hewes gold spike described in the May 4, 1869 receipt (finished but not engraved), and not documented as having been used at Promontory, was engraved with the correct completion date of May 10, 1869 at some later time, was passed down in the Hewes family, and was sold to the California State Railroad Museum in 2005.

4) The Stanford University Museum has a gold spike (and also a brass replica) often claimed to be the Hewes last spike (#1 above) but that does not match David Hewes' photographs of his spike that was actually used at Promontory, with multiple discrepancies in the engraved wording as detailed by Professor Lampson's paper.

Is there any disagreement with the above?


-----------------
Schulz et. al. Hewes Receipt of May 4th, 1869

Stanford University's Gold Spike

Robin Lampson paper

David Hewes autobiography with photographs of the Hewes spike

San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser, May, 1869. ... The Second Gold Spike

11/09/2005 11:29 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman" wendellhuffman@hotmail.com

OK. I think I need a "gold spikes for dummies" here.

If I understand the story (as it is developing) we have 4 spikes:

1. A gold spike, made for Hews, given to Stanford, taken to Promontory, used as the "last" spike, and subsequently lost.

2. A gold spike that was unknown to most people, made for Hews, kept by Hews, never at Promontory, and now owned by CSRM.

3. a gold or maybe brass spike that Stanford University made at sometime as a substitute for spike #1 (above) after it was found to be lost.

4. A silver and gold spike from Nevada (?) that was taken to Promontory in 1869 (?) and is now somewhere (?).

Are there any more?

—Wendell

11/09/2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com

Let me clarify some things about the various Hewes gold spikes.

First, it appears that David Hewes had two gold spikes cast in 1869. One was hurriedly engraved and sent with Leland Stanford for use at the ceremonies at Promontory, anticipated to be on May 8, but actually held on May 10. This spike was engraved with the anticipated May 8 date. The casting sprue (also referred to as the "slug") from this spike was broken off and melted to cast mementoes (such as rings and watch fobs), a number of which are preserved at Stanford University, and at least one at Golden Spike NHS. After the ceremony, this spike was returned to David Hewes. In 1892 Hewes donated the spike to Stanford University, along with his significant art collection. (I gather the art collection was considered the much more significant donation at the time.)

The second Hewes spike was engraved after the event – it includes the May 10 date for the ceremony. I should note that the circumstantial evidence (including the receipt) seems to indicate that the two spikes were cast at the same time. We have no actual concrete evidence confirming that. Wording on the two spikes is very similar, but there are some slight variations between the two. Most distinctive, the words "The Last Spike" that appears on the head of the Stanford spike is engraved on the side of the spike head on the second spike, and is written as "The last Spike" (note small "l" in "last"). Also significantly, this second Hewes spike has never had the sprue ("slug") removed - it is still attached to the spike. The Hewes family retained this spike over the years, until last week when several of us completed the purchase of the spike and transported it to CSRM. (It is securely stored away until we are able to have a high security display installed, hopefully by next Spring. Sorry - not available for viewing.)

In 1937 Robin Lampson met a Hewes descendant who had two photos that he believed to be of "The Last Spike" - with sprue attached. Researching further, Lampson located a copy of the privately published Hewes family history printed in 1913, which included five photo views of the various sides of the spike, including the two views Lampson had received from the Hewes descendent. Lampson believed these photos were of the spike that was used at the Promontory celebrations, showing it before the sprue had been removed. Comparing the photos with the spike displayed at Stanford University, he noted a number of differences, leading him to the conclusion that the original spike had been lost. Compounding this, Stanford for many years displayed a brass replica because their security was not considered sufficient to protect the original on display. It is possible that Lampson only saw this brass replica. (Stanford has recently installed a high security display case for the Hewes spike, and the Nevada silver spike, and now displays the originals, except when they are out on temporary loan at other institutions.)

Comparing the five photos of the Hewes spike that Lampson used with the spike recently obtained by CSRM shows them to be the same. Details both of the writing and of the shape of the sprue confirm this. Lampson did not realize (nor did anyone else) that Hewes had two spikes cast. He assumed that the photos he had were taken in 1869 before the spike went to Promontory.

I theorize that in preparing the 1913 Hewes family history, David Hewes (who died in 1915) wanted to include photos of "The Last Spike." Rather than arrange with Stanford University for photos of the spike he had given to them in 1892, Hewes had new photos taken of the spike he still had for inclusion in the book.

Looking at the photos of the spike with new eyes, and with familiarity of many historic photos, I would say the photographic reproduction and appearance is much more consistent with photos printed with materials available around the turn of the century than they are of photos printed with materials available in 1869.

My conclusion is that the spike at Stanford University is in all likelihood the original 1869 Hewes spike that went to Promontory. Keep in mind it was a rush job, hurried to get it ready in time for Stanford to take it to Promontory. This may account for Lampson's comment about "crude engraving." (Alternately, Lampson may only have seen the brass replica at Stanford.) The spike that Hewes kept was engraved after the May 10 event, and was not a rush job, so the engraving may appear finer.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

11/09/2005 3:58 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com

A Spike Primmer

1. The Hewes gold spike that went to Promontory in 1869. I believe this IS the spike presently at Stanford University. This is approximately 17 carot gold with copper alloy.

2. Brass replica spike used by Stanford University because display security not sufficient to display the original Hewes gold spike. Stanford now has a secure display case, and exhibits the original spike.

3. Hewes gold spike here-to-fore unknown and held by the Hewes family until last week. This spike did NOT go to Promontory. Photos of this spike (with sprue still attached as it is now) were printed in the Hewes family history in 1913. Prof. Lampson mistakenly thought these photos were of the spike that went to Promontory.

4. Nevada silver spike, now at Stanford University with the Hewes spike.

5. Arizona tri-metal spike (iron, silver, gold), I believe now owned by the Smithsonian Institution and displayed at some museum (perhaps in Council Bluffs or in New York).

6. San Francisco Newsletter gold spike. No record has been found of what happened to this spike after the ceremonies (or for that matter what happened to the others, except by later evidence after they resurfaced). An individual in Maine has a gold plated iron spike that he believes may be this spike. More research needs to be done to confirm this. The Maine spike is similar to the engravings printed of the spike in the SF Newsletter in 1869 and again in 1881, but with some distinctive differences. The SF Newsletter offices burned in the 1906 SF earthquake and fire.

7. Replica of Hewes/Stanford spike (made of what kind of metal?) displayed at Golden Spike NHS at Promontory.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

11/09/2005 4:00 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: Bob_Spude@nps.gov

Some additions to the below.

The Arizona spike was on display last year, and may still be at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum located in the former Carnegie Library in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa, the official starting point of the transcontinental railroad. At that time it was on loan from the Museum of the City of New York (possibly donated to them by Sidney Dillon, UP director at the May 10 ceremony and later UP president. One of his descendants, S. Dillon Ripley, was head of the Smithsonian in 1969).

The replica spike at Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah is a brass coated spike, inscribed as the golden spike at Stanford University museum.

—Bob


Bob Spude – Historian – Cultural Resources Management – National Park Service – Intermountain Region – 505.988.6770 Voice – 505.988.6876 Fax

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

11/09/2005 4:02 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com
Subject: Revised Last Spikes

Here is a revised summary of "Last Spikes". Note ownership of the Arizona spike, and addition of the Lemon iron spike.

A Spike Primmer

1. The Hewes gold spike that went to Promontory in 1869. I believe this IS the spike presently at Stanford University. This is approximately 17 carat gold with copper alloy.

2. The brass replica spike used on display for some years by Stanford University because security not sufficient to display the original Hewes gold spike. Stanford University now has a secure display case, and exhibits the original spike.

3. The replica of Hewes/Stanford spike displayed at Golden Spike Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory, Utah. The replica spike is a brass coated spike, inscribed as the golden spike at Stanford University museum.

4. The Hewes gold spike here-to-fore unknown and held by the Hewes family until November 2005, when it was acquired by the California State Railroad Museum. This spike did NOT go to Promontory. Photos of this spike (with sprue still attached as it is now) were printed in the Hewes family history in 1913. Prof. Lampson thought these photos were of the spike that went to Promontory, leading him to mistakenly believe the original spike had been lost by Stanford University.

5. Nevada silver spike, now at Stanford University with the Hewes spike.

6. Arizona tri-metal spike (iron, silver, gold), is owned by the Museum of the City of New York, and loaned for display at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum located in the former Carnegie Library in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa, the official starting point of the transcontinental railroad.

7. San Francisco Newsletter gold spike. No record has been found of what happened to this spike after the ceremonies (or for that matter what happened to the others, except by later evidence after they resurfaced). An individual in Maine has a gold plated iron spike that he believes may be this spike. More research needs to be done to confirm this. The Maine spike is similar to the engravings printed of the spike in the SF Newsletter in 1869 and again in 1881, but with some distinctive differences. The SF Newsletter offices burned in the 1906 SF earthquake and fire.

8. Lemon spike is an iron spike, reputedly the last spike driven. Assuming notarized statements with the spike are generally correct and the spike actually came from Promontory, is unclear whether this spike was the last iron spike driven before the ceremonial spikes, or if this spike was the last driven in the tie replacing the ceremonial tie and spikes. In any case, it was given to David Lemon, the fireman on a Union Pacific locomotive we understand to be No. 119 (although Lemon in an interview years later identified it as No. 117). The spike was given to Wells Fargo Bank in 1954, and by them to Stanford University later that year when the gold spike was returned to the University.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

My work address is: kwyatt@parks.ca.gov
My personal address is: kylewyatt@aol.com

11/09/2005 4:06 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Kyle,

Thanks for your analysis, which seems more plausible than Professor Lampson's conclusion. However, surprisingly Lampson's conclusion does seem consistent with David Hewes' autobiography where Hewes writes at page 249, a description of the last spike that seems to correspond to the Hewes family's spike, not the spike at Stanford University (describing the engraving: "The Central Pacific. Ground broken Jan. 8th, 1863 — Completed May 10, 1869."):

At the last moment, I said, "There was one last thing to be done, a last tie and a last spike to be furnished before the great work can be finished." As an individual, I presented a gold spike and polished laurel tie, with a silver shield, on which was inscribed as follows: "The last tie which unites in part, and helps complete the great road across the Continent." The spike bore the inscription on four sides as follows; on one side: "The Central Pacific. Ground broken Jan. 8th, 1863 — Completed May 10, 1869." Another side: " Names of Directors : Hon. Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, E. H. Miller, Jr., C. P. Huntington, E. B. Crocker, A. P. Stanford, Charles Marsh," Another side: " Officers: Hon. Leland Stanford, President; C. P. Huntington, Vice-President; E. B. Crocker, Attorney; Charles Crocker, Superintendent; Mark Hopkins, Treasurer; E. H. Miller, Jr., Sec.; S. S. Montague, Chief Engineer; S. C. Gray, Consulting Engineer. Presented by David Hewes of San Francisco." Another side, the sentiment: "May God continue the unity of Our Country as this Railroad unites the two great oceans of the world." Perhaps it is due to mention what lead to my giving a golden spike to complete the Central & Union Pacific Railroads. ... I presented the gold spike to Gov. Stanford, as a compliment to the Central Pacific Railroad, and after he had taken as much of the nugget as he required to make certain souvenirs, it was returned to me and by me eventually presented to the Stanford Museum at the time my art collection found location there.

and Hewes captions his five view picture of the spike:
"THE GOLDEN SPIKE WHICH UNITED THE CENTRAL PACIFIC AND UNION PACIFIC RAILROADS"

So it seems that if Professor Lampson was wrong, as you now believe, it was because David Hewes was wrong in what he wrote in 1913, more than four decades after the completion ceremony.

11/09/2005 4:58 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com

In my opinion Prof. Lampson made a completely honest mistake. I note as recently as Jan 2005 in the CPRR Discussion Group I made pretty positive statements doubting there being two Hewes spikes.

As to David Hewes, he may well have thought in 1913 that the spike he had (which he had photographed for the book) was engraved exactly like the spike he gave to Stanford University. And of course we have all tended to take Hewes at his word, never realizing that Hewes actually had two spikes made and had kept one – and further that he included photos of the one he kept in his book, labeling it as if it was the one he gave to Stanford University.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

My work address is: kwyatt@parks.ca.gov
My personal address is: kylewyatt@aol.com

11/09/2005 5:43 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Don Snoddy" DDsnoddy@cox.net

117 was at or near Promontory at the time. It was one of the construction engines. Where is David Lemon's interview?

—Don

11/09/2005 5:45 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "chris graves" caliron@cwnet.com

I dunno. I read this email, and the email from the CSRM, and I am confused. ...

—chris

11/09/2005 6:00 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

How could we not be confused. It seems that David Hewes mixed up the description of the spikes. No way that the spike used at Promontory and later donated to Stanford University was engraved "May 10", as Hewes claims. (The May 10th completion date wasn't correctly anticipated at the time that the spike was engraved, about May 4th.)

Once you ignore what Hewes wrote in 1913, and ignore Prof. Lampson's conclusions based on Hewes' writings, Kyle's explanation makes a lot of sense.

11/09/2005 6:06 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com

It has been pointed out that I do not in fact know that the spike recently acquired by CSRM did not go to Promontory. Accordingly, I have modified the entry as follows:

The Hewes gold spike here-to-fore unknown and held by the Hewes family until November 2005, when it was acquired by the California State Railroad Museum. We have no record indicating it was at Promontory, but in fact there seems to be no mention identifying it until photos of this spike (with sprue still attached as it is now) were printed in the Hewes family history in 1913 and labeled as the Last Spike at Promontory. Prof. Lampson thought these photos were of the well known Hewes spike in the Promontory ceremony, leading him to mistakenly believe the original spike had been lost by Stanford University.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

My work address is: kwyatt@parks.ca.gov
My personal address is: kylewyatt@aol.com

11/09/2005 6:14 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See the Lemon interview.

11/14/2005 4:17 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Edson T. Strobridge" etstrobridge@fix.net

As long as I have the pot stirred and more information is coming out all the time I would like to add my two bits worth and respond to Kyle Wyatt's excellent evaluation in his email of November 9th.  I do believe that this is the time to once and for all correct all the legends and tales about the Gold Spikes if we can and establish the "Truth of History." We certainly have the forum, thanks to the CPRR Museum, and enough experts interested to work our way through the mysteries of the past.
 
First I believe the two Hewes gold spikes should be individually identified. I submit: The Hewes Stanford Gold Spike   (dated May 8, 1869, also engraved "Pacific Railroad") as representing the original gold spike donated by David Hewes to Leland Stanford and used at the "Last Spike ceremonies at Promontory on May 10, 1869. The second Hewes spike to be identified as the Hewes Keepsake Gold Spike (dated May 10, 1869 and engraved "The Central Pacific"). I suggest this name as that is what David Hewes made it for, as evidenced by keeping it in his family until recently acquired by the CSRM. That was all it was even though it was almost identical to the Stanford Spike. There is no evidence that it was ever given to Leland Stanford, it was not engraved until after May 10, 1869 (days, months or years later is unknown), nor ever sent to Promontory.  Other than being made by Hewes as a companion piece to the Stanford Spike it played no part in the history of the construction of the Central Pacific or Pacific Railroads and consequently is not a part of the Central Pacific's history. The lack of individual identification is a large part of the cause of the confusion between the two Hewes spikes and the mystery of the "missing Stanford Spike." David Hewes mislead everyone by his identification of the photos in the 1913 Hewes family genealogy as being the "Golden Spike Which United The Central Pacific And Union Pacific Railroads." Whether this was deliberate or a slip of his memory is not known but his claim did not occur until 44 years after the event took place. He was also in error when he claimed he "presented the polished laurel tie" which too may be a result of a failing memory???

I also agree with Kyle Wyatt's evaluation of the date of the photographs in the 1913 Hewes biography that, due to the quality, they were not taken until around the turn of the century, or even later, which may also have been the time the spike was engraved; a mystery that has yet to be solved.
 
All that being said, I submit my evaluation of the facts as I have become to know them, along with a few personal opinions for what they might be worth:

The Last Gold Spikes at Promontory - May 10, 1869
[Click for pdf file.]

11/17/2005 5:14 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

A web page version of the same article, Our First Transcontinental Railroad and The Last Gold Spikes at Promontory, Utah, May 10, 1869 by Edson T. Strobridge, is available with links to the cited sources.

11/18/2005 11:21 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Also see the CSRM website.

5/15/2006 8:11 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Also see "A new home for the 'lost' spike."

5/15/2006 8:13 AM  

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