At that time, the state of Utah was still a territory and a spot called “Promontory” was about to received the attention of the world and mark its place in American history. It was there where the final rail was to be laid, linking the Union Pacific tracks out of Omaha, with the Central Pacific tracks out of San Francisco.
Five years of labor had gone before to bring the two to Promontory, Utah. The year was 1869, Leland Stanford, President of the Central Pacific, took a silver plated sledge hammer in his burly hands and took aim at the gold spike in the final rail. America was listening for that clank. The Railroad’s future was bright. Two engines were puffing in anticipation. The Union pacifics number 199 and the Central’s Jupiter waited to touch iron noses. All was set Sanford swung the silver hammer at the bright golden spike…..and he missed.
Somehow, now that seems appropriate. The railroads future was never perfect. Progress took a different route and a new track eventually bypassed Promontory. Then as irony would have it, the old rails were needed for steel during the 2nd world war and they were removed. Promontory today has no tracks, only a memory in May.