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Ray of Sunshine

Promotory point trivia

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It has been a time since I last either posted or viewed the forums, but will try to view some of the new entries.

Now this rendition of subject matters are not necessarily in order of reality, but being shown as to the 'facts" of the happenings.  Although I have titled it as "trivia" the book from which I obtained the "facts" would be "history".  The book is titled "Empire Express", subtitled "Building the First Transcontinental Railroad".  The Author compiling the story, or narrative of 711 pages is David Haward Bain.

Presenters of the Ceremonial Spikes:  W.H. Harkness - the inscribed Golden Spike, (The Last Spike) is 18 oz of pure gold, with names of Central Pacific Officers, dated May 8, 1869 (original scheduled date) and followed by"

"May God continue the unity of our Country as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the World"

>>>added note.(A rough nugget of gold had been affixed to one end, which later, Hewes would have broken off and melted down into finger rings, and presented to Standford , Oakes Ames, President Grant, Secy of State Seward, and the Reverend Dr. John Todd, who gave the opening invocation.  The rings were inscribed,

"The Mountain Wedding, May 10, 1869".


Tritle of Nevada - voiced - "To the Iron of the East, and the Gold of the West, Nevada adds her link of Silver to span the Continent, and wed the Oceans."

Governor Safford - Cantoned  - "Ribbed with iron, clad in Silver, and crowned with gold, Arizona presents her offering to the enterprise that has banded the continent and dictated the pathway to commerce."


There would be two other spikes,  one of silver, forged with 100 men striking a blow.  The other, had been forged of iron, silver, and gold, both sentimentally inscribed, but (no indication given as to that inscription).

The ceremonial tie, donated by then a well-healed tie contractor, and prepared by the San Francisco billiard-table manufacturer, was cut from a California Laurel on Mount Mamalpais, sawed into an 8 foot length, e inches by eight, around and polished until it reflected light, and it bore a silver plate that indicated that ti was the "last tie" of the Pacific Railroad, followed by the name of directors and officers of the Central Pacific, and the presenter, West Evans.

>>>added note.(Sacramento Union & San Francisco Alta California: May 11-12 1869: David Hewes, who donated 1 golden spike, later claimed that he donated the laurel tie as well, bit it was West Evens.  Late in his life, Hewes made elaborate silver tipped canes from laurel wood, and presented them to his friends, with engravings purporting them to be "Made from the Tree of the Last Tie".)<<<

>>>added note.( Union Pacific Magazine, May 5, 1926: The bona fide laurel tie, burned in the Southern Pacific office in 1906, after the San Francisco earthquake.)<<<

>>>added note.(The laurel tie's last spike would be that of a businesslike iron, though fittingly, there would be the ceremonial spikes, which, because of their delicacy, would not stand up to pounding, gut would be dropped into pre-drilled holes.)<<<


Between the 2 locomotives, the 2 ceremonial rails were laid down.  Th Union Pacific gang of Irishmen, placing the one on the West side of the tracks, and the Central Pacific gang of Chinese, placing theirs on the East.


I was agree, that Governor Safford would strike the first blow to the East spike, and Dr. Durant the second on the West spike.   There was some talk, which originate by a tie freight driver, of the "first swings being missed".  However, with some notables being as witness,  it was just a "myth".

Lengthy, but hope it was of some note worthy result which you can add to our memory of information.


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