After 20 years out of the state, the original Golden Spike will be on display in Brigham City and Promontory Summit to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the completion of this county's first Transcontinental Railroad.
"It's (the Golden Spike) coming home again for a visit," said Delone Glover, president of the Golden Spike Association of Box Elder County. "It's very exciting."The first transcontinental railroad was completed at Promontory Summit in Box Elder County on May 10, 1869, when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met.
Each year, the driving of the Golden Spike is re-enacted by a group in costume, commemorating the climax of the greatest railroad race in history. Some 1,800 miles of tracks were built in 61/2 years, from Omaha, Neb., to Sacramento, Calif.
Leland Stanford, governor of California and part owner of the Central Pacific, was on hand when the last spike was driven. He then took the Golden Spike back to California, where it is on display at Stanford University. It was last displayed in Utah in 1971.
Engraved on the spike are the words, "May God continue the unity of our country as this railroad unites the two great oceans of the world."
The university is celebrating its centennial this year and Stanford President Donald Kennedy and alumni will be on hand when the re-enactment takes place.
Glover said the celebration gets under way about 10 a.m. Friday, May 10, at the Golden Spike National Historic site, about 30 miles west of Brigham City. The spike will be driven at 12:47 p.m.
Glover also said a special telegraph hookup will be set up so a live transmission can be sent to Sacramento when the spike is driven.
Kennedy is scheduled to make a brief speech at the ceremonies, and those attending will participate in a moment of silence honoring those who built the railroad.
Other special guests include descendants of those present at the original Golden Spike ceremony.
The original Golden Spike will be on display at the Brigham City museum-gallery on Thursday, May 9, from 3 to 9 p.m., and at Promontory Summit Friday, May 10, from 3 to 9 p.m.
The celebration winds down Saturday, May 11, at the Golden Spike ball at the Corinne LDS Ward.