Eyes Still On Golden Spike 

Eyes Still On Golden Spike 

THE TRAINS are getting fewer and fewer and those that do run have difficulty finding enough passengers to pay expenses, but the great American railroad story still fascinates the public. This interest is maintained by such projects as is conducted by Brigham City, which recently commemorated the 101st anniversary of the first transcontinental railway—linked at Promontory Summit—[on] May 8, 1869. 

This year’s celebration started with the customary grand ball on Friday, May 8. The observance continued through Saturday with a series of festive events, including visits to Promontory and the historic Railroad Museum at Corinne. Gov. Calvin Rampton and members of Utah’s congressional delegation joined in the activities. The evening’s cynosure was the Visitors Center—21 miles west of Brigham City, a beautiful facility and already a popular attraction for tourists. 

The Golden Spike Centennial Celebration set the pace for this observance with local, state, regional and national railroad devotees taking part. This year’s follow-up event, of course, was much smaller and was directed exclusively by Brigham City sponsors, who made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in numbers compared to the original participants. 

Once again Brigham City’s sponsors did themselves proud as hosts to the tourists that visited the latest version of Golden Spike Days. They had a new feature with which to attract visitors—an art exhibit of the work of A. J. Russell, Union Pacific R.R. photographer when the tracks at Promontory were laid. Following the exhibit this summer the photos are to be moved to the Smithsonian Institute. Mountain West folks should avail themselves of the opportunity to see this rare display before it is moved back east. 

Brigham City, through such worthy projects as its annual Golden Spike Days, significantly preserves this part of the nation’s past which so much deserves remembering. 


This article originally appeared in the July/August 1970 issue of Pioneer Magazine
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