by Dave Hobson


At exactly 1:47p.m. on May 10, 1969, one-hundred years after the original event, another Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Summit to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. (The original driving was at 12:47, but because of present-day daylight savings time, 1:47 was used for the reenactment.)

From the pictures I had seen, I had always assumed that Promontory was out in the middle of the desert. However, this is not true. The Promontory Mountains come down from the north and extend for a long distance southward into the Great Salt Lake. The present Southern Pacific railroad crosses the lake over an earthen fill running directly west of Ogden, and touches the southern tip of the mountains at Promontory Point. However, the original railroad went on a northerly route from Ogden to the end of the Lake, then turned west at a town called Corrine. It then went up and over the Promontory Mountains through a pass or saddle which I would estimate is some 1,500 feet higher than the Lake. The original site of Promontory is at the highest point in this pass on a plateau, and although it is fairly level at that point, there are hills both to the north and south. There is some farming on the plateau, and several fields of alfalfa nearby. In my own opinion, the correct name would be "Promontory Summit."

While at the original ceremony only a few hundred people were present, several thousand were present a hundred years later. The Salt Lake Tribune estimated 12,000; the Ogden Standard-Examiner 20,000) and the National Park Service on the following day announced an estimate of 28,400. Take your pick. They came from everywhere, and used every conceivable means of transportation, including helicopter. However, those coming by rail had to pick another means of transportation from Ogden, since the rail line was torn up many, many years ago. Only official cars were allowed at the dedication site because of limited parking space. All others parked on the airstrip owned by the Thiokol Company a few miles away, and were transported by local school buses. Hundreds were turned away.

The reenactment ceremony was presided over by Thomas M. Goodfellow, Chairman of the Golden




Election of PSRMA officers for 1970 and an outstanding program highlighting the 100th Anniversary of the Promontory Point completion of the transcontinental railroad will be the main features of the October General Meeting.

The show will get under way at 7:30 P.M. in the Safety Room on the second floor of the San Diego Santa Fe Depot. Please try to be on time, as the Depot is locked up at that hour and we must provide a doorman to let you in Sunday, October 19th is the day, and the Depot is at Kettner and Broadway in downtown San Diego.

The evening's entertainment following the election will feature the official Union Pacific film of the Golden Spike ceremonies, TRAILS OF THE IRON HORSE. Our guest of the evening will be Bob Nelson of the U. P. Traffic Department.

Regular members who have not already mailed in their ballots must bring them to the meeting in order to vote.