Monday, August 28, 2006

Golden Spike Report by Robert L. Spude now online


[Golden Spike Report posted online today:]

Promontory Summit, May 10, 1869
A History of the Site Where The Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads Joined to Form the First Transcontinental Railroad, 1869, With a Special Focus on the Tents of May 10, and with Recommendations for Interpretation of and Historic Furnishings Study for the Tents at the Last Spike Site, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah

By Robert L. Spude, History Program
And with the assistance of Todd Delyea, Historic Architecture Program

Cultural Resources Management
Intermountain Region, National Park Service


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Lynn Farrar"

... I have never seen in print anything about the CP laying their last rail at Promontory on May 8, 1869. When the UP finally arrived was it also May 8 or was it May 10 when Durant & Co reached the scene? The UP laid down a side track thus claiming Promontory, originally called Terminous by the CP, as their station. The first official profile of the CP shows the date of May 8 as the date of their last rail. ...


8/28/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Thanks for the reminder on how confusing those last few days were. The CP had planned for the May 8 "last rail" event with the UP. The UP was a bit tardy getting up the eastern slope of the Promontory and, though they had finished the last cut and quickly layed rail to near the last spike site, May 8, they were far from finished. According to many accounts, an angry Stanford was soothed by UP's Casement by the offer of a trip to Ogden via the UP on May 9, while the UP hurriedly finished all but the last rail and its Wye. There is that little story of Durant's delay as well (and a bridge going out). So, CP may have officially and in the records listed May 8 as the last rail, but as events unfolded it turned out to be May 10. (And yes, the UP blocked the CP from building any further West then Promontory, at least for a few months until the junction moved to Ogden).


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.

8/28/2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kevin Bunker"

Was that Montana Post article of May 14th, 1869 [see below] written by Sam Clemens??? It certainly has his stylistic cast. He surely was somewhere as a journalist and poised to comment on the Great Event.



"Yesterday, May 10th, at high noon, the last rail was laid and spiked, connecting the Union and Central Pacific railroads. It was the completing of an enterprise fraught with more interest than the tunneling of Mount Cenis or connecting the Red and Mediterranean seas by the Suez Canal. Exchanges and telegrams inform us that on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts it was to be celebrated with becoming ceremonies and popular demonstrations, while from down in the deserts of Utah, we have rumors of gold spikes, and silver spikes, diamond eyes, ruby lips, alabaster necks, sparkling vintage wit, sentiment, and what-not, that graced the occasion and fastened the rail.

Success to the great enterprise and a volunteer toast from Montana."

Montana Post, Helena, May 14, 1869.

9/02/2006 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I find a transcript of the golden spike, joining of the rails ceremony?

6/21/2010 6:00 PM  

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