May 10th was the 146th anniversary of the Driving of the Golden Spike. Since 1995 I have been in the reenactment cast as the Telegraph operator.
When a Laurel Wood Tie, and 2 Rails, and a Golden Spike came together to complete the first transcontinental railroad. OR DID IT.
Neither the Jupiter, or the 119 were scheduled to be at the ceremony. The Idaho 1 was coming from the east but was side tracked (held hostage) in Piedmont Wy. for 2 days till the tie cutters were paid. When arriving at Ogden canyon, the trestle was loosened by a storm… so the 119 was summoned from Ogden to pull the delegation to Promontory summit. While the Antelope coming from California was damaged on the trip and limped into Nevada and the Jupiter took its place in history.
Although the top of one of the Golden spikes has “The Last Spike” written on the top…. The Real Last Spike was an ordinary spike driven into an ordinary tie and was connected to the telegraph system as was the spike maul and it was to signal the country when the the maul hit the spike,,,, but the over imbibed railroad executives could not hit the spike. So the telegraph operator hit the key to simulate the driving of the spike signaling the nation that the Railroad was completed,,, until some workers got the job done.