Golden Spike Centennial scrapbooks, 1969

Overview of the Collection

Mazer, Nathan
Golden Spike Centennial scrapbooks
1969 (inclusive)
4 boxes, (10 linear feet)
Collection Number
ACCN 0441
The Golden Spike Centennial scrapbooks (1969) contain clippings regarding the celebration of the centennial of the 1869 completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit in Northern Utah marked the completion of a railroad that spanned the continental United States. After the driving of the Golden Spike (which was soon replaced by a real railroad spike), the junction between the two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, soon moved to Ogden. Very quickly, the Promontory Summit site fell into obscurity. This obscurity turned into confusion in 1904 when Central Pacific's successor, Southern Pacific, built a shorter route across the Great Salt Lake which crossed Promontory Point- thirty-seven miles south of where the railroads joined. A confusion of where the railroads joined has persisted ever since as many textbooks refer to the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Point. The site reached its lowest point when the demand for steel during World War II caused the unused rails to be pulled up and scrapped. A movement to restore the site began as early as the 1920s when area resident Bernice Gibbs Anderson sought to have a national monument established at Promontory Summit. It was not until the 1950s that her efforts were taken seriously and after several years of disagreement and opposition, a historic site was established in 1965. Four years later, a grand centennial celebration was held at the site and two historic steam engines were borrowed from the east to give an authentic feel. 1969 demonstrated Promontory Summit's emergence from obscurity and its beginning as an important historical site for railroads. In 1979, two replicas of the original engines that met at Promontory Summit were shipped to the site. A small distance of track allows the two engines to back up and re-enact the events of 1869. A visitor center has also been built and offers exhibits and films.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Golden Spike Centennial scrapbooks (1969) document the celebration of the linking of the Transcontinental Railroad. The celebration took place at Promontory Summit in Utah.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Nathan H. Mazer in 1974.

Processing Note

Processed by Mark Jensen in 1996.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Golden Spike Centennial, 1869-1969
  • Railroads--West (U.S.)--History

Geographical Names

  • Golden Spike National Historic Site (Utah)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Scrapbooks