Sunday, March 8, 2009
Promontory, Utah: Promontory Summit
Here's another place with several names: Promontory Summit, Promontory Point, and Golden Spike National Historic Site. Take your pick.
This is the place where the transcontinental railroad was finished. It's a long story -- read the Stephen Ambrose book for details -- but basically one company started building track from California and one from Omaha, I think. This (Utah) is where the rail lines met. Everyone got together for a photo opportunity, a telegraph went out to the nation that read "Done!" and the country was suddenly a lot smaller in a sense.
At the historic site, two trains come down the tracks to recreate the meeting point, which is where the fabled Golden Spike was driven to mark the completion of the railroad. The spike itself is at Stanford University now, I believe.
This definitely is in the absolute middle of nowhere, well west of the Interstate, but it's pretty charming in a way. History majors certainly will like it.