May 10, 1869

Today is the 143rd anniversary of a ceremony that symbolized the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.  Many of you may know it as the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit.

From the Library of Congress American Memory website:  “Officials and workers of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railways held a ceremony on Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory—approximately thirty-five miles away from Promontory  Point, the site where the rails were joined—to drive in the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869….an event that connected the nation from coast to coast and reduced a journey of four months or more to just one week.”

To celebrate this event, the Salt Lake County Court passed a resolution on May 7, 1869 to illuminate the courthouse:

Meeting of May 7, 1869. Salt Lake County Court Minutes, 6/1/1857-2/20/1874.

The Salt Lake County Courthouse at that time was located on 200 South, in the vicinity of the Salt Palace.  The courthouse was built between 1855-1861, with the first County meeting held there in 1859.  It was demolished by the late 1890s.  See the County history on our website for more details about this building.

Salt Lake County Courthouse, 1855-1890s. Photograph courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society. 

For more information about celebrating this anniversary, visit the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

This entry was posted in Salt Lake history, Utah history and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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