Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Silver spike ceremony, Deming, New Mexico, 1881?

From: "Strand"

Was a silver spike ceremony held in Deming, NM in 1881 when the second transcontinental Railroad linking Southern Pacific with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads was completed?


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

"A Silver Spike marked the joining of the rails in Deming on March 8, 1881."

"officials pounded home a silver spike at Deming on March 8, 1881."

8/09/2007 8:01 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "John Strand"

Thanks, Are you aware of any other references on the Silver Spike ceremony in Deming. My concern is that I could not find any other references on early history concerning the silver spike. I have found history relating to the Silver Spike driven in Tucson and now in New York. In 1981 Deming held a ceremony driving a silver plated spike which is now displayed in the Luna Mimbres Museum. As the retired City Manager of Deming for 30 years I always thought a Silver Spike was driven in 1881, however, now as a member of the Deming Historic Preservation Commission I volunteered to research the present location of the Spike. After much research I'm beginning to believe there wasn't a spike driven in Deming until the ceremony in 1981. Since the only two references of the Spike are very recent, I'm inclined to believe the writers may have obtained this information from the 1981 ceremony and assumed the same was enacted in 1881. Any other thoughts or references to early history.

—John Strand

8/09/2007 8:02 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Have you checked the New York Times or other national newspapers published at the time?

Was there a local Deming, NM newspaper published in 1881 that you could check?

8/09/2007 8:11 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Yes, see David Myrick's book the Railroads of New Mexico. There is more discussion of construction in his Railroads of Arizona volume 1.

—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.

8/09/2007 8:18 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I stand corrected (that's what I get for not checking Myrick before posting the note). Yes, the silver spike at Tucson exists; not sure about the one for the Nogales ceremony/event. Have you looked at contemporary newspapers? Tucson Star might be useful as would other regional newspapers. Would not surprise me that the SP- and Santa Fe railroads did not have a "last spike" ceremony for the completion of the second transcontinental connection.

Good luck with your search. If you find anything let us know.


8/09/2007 8:30 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Another place to look is the Southern Pacific Bulletin (the Southern Pacific's company magazine) which may have had a later article describing the event.

8/09/2007 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for info on the housing history,
of the railroad works in Deming NM, were they lived while work was being done on the railroad. h
Has any one herd of the "Old Chines Gardens" were the blacks and the chines were workers of the railroad any and all info is needed.

10/29/2011 2:45 AM  

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