Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Last Spike" Foundry name

From: "Donald Gordon"

Just a quick note to correct some information on your site concerning the foundry that made the last spike. It is refered to as "William T. Garret." The correct spelling should be GARRATT. It is referenced in a number of directories, including the Sacramento Directory of 1853-54, on page 148.

—Don Gordon


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Thanks so much for your note – this type of detailed fact checking is invaluable.

As you recommend, we have changed the spelling from "William T. Garret" to "William T. Garratt."

The Stanford University website spells the foundry name as "William T. Garrett." The Wikipedia article uses the "William T. Garret" spelling.

Not sure if the last spike foundry name spelling is a case of transcription errors or of inconsistent spellings of the name in the 19th century. In reviewing some genealogical records from early 20th century New York public records, the inconsistency in spelling of names on various documents was quite striking.

6/08/2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


On the question of "Garrett" vs "Garratt" – the descendants of the family spell it "Garratt."


6/08/2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


The Mining & Scientific Press of San Francisco, May 8, 1869, states that Joseph Garratt, father of W. T. Garratt, and probably the oldest metal worker on the coast, did the actual work.


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.

6/09/2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


There has been a fair amount of confusion about the name of the foundry that cast the Hewes Last Spikes. It was W. T. Garratt & Co. It is often mis-spelled Garrett. ...


6/12/2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Rod Tayler said...

If you would like to see other work by the W. T. Garratt foundary, there is a short decorative iron fence surrounding the Pacific Union Club building on Nob Hill that pre-dates the 1906 earthquake and fire.

10/18/2007 7:28 AM  

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