SALT LAKE CITY — Several members of Utah's congressional delegation are asking their colleagues to designate the Golden Spike National Historic Site as a national historical park through legislation introduced Thursday.
The Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act, sponsored in the U.S. House by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, would elevate the status of the Promontory Summit site where America’s first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The bill is being co-sponsored in the House by Republican Reps. Chris Stewart, Mia Love, and John Curtis
“This new park will not only preserve the history made on that spring day in 1869, but also the herculean efforts which led to the driving of the spike and the new course of history that followed,” Bishop said in a statement.
In a tongue-in-cheek statement, Sen. Orrin Hatch, the act’s sponsor in the Senate, said, “As one of the few Utahns who was alive to witness the driving of the Golden Spike, I’m honored to introduce legislation celebrating that tremendous day 149 years later.”
“While I may have been just a boy at the time, I knew they were making history with the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Golden Spike Historical Park will serve as a fitting tribute to an event that brought the entire country together,” Hatch said.
The act is being introduced a year before the 150th anniversary of the driving of a golden railroad spike that connected the Central Pacific and Union Pacific rail lines.7 comments on this story
In addition, the act would create the Transcontinental Railroad Network, which would include sites related to the history, construction and legacy of the transcontinental railroad. The network would be similar in makeup to the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and the African American Civil Rights Network.
According to Hatch’s statement, the site had 67,811 visitors in 2017, which equates to 185 visitors per day, and that redesignation would encourage more visitors without affecting management of the site.
The designation would make the park the 52nd historical park in the U.S.