November 23, 2015

Scenes From the American West, 150 Years Ago

Driving the Golden Spike, Promentory, Utah

In the late 1860s, photographer Andrew J. Russell traveled west to document the construction of the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming and Utah, including the famous “golden spike” moment on May 10, 1869, when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were joined in Promontory, Utah, creating the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Russell captured images of the railway construction as well as the wide-open landscape of the American West and its inhabitants. - The Atlantic

Skullrock Rock, Wyoming. “The name of this rock is derived from the peculiar formation of the boulders lying at its base. It is situated three miles south of the railroad, in the mining district of Dale Creek Canyon.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun at November 23, 2015 11:26 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I remember first seeing the Promentory photo in my Amerian History textbook in the early 70's.
Bless my history teacher's heart for pointing out that the booze bottles in the center of the photo, had been photo shopped out,to protect our young minds.
I doubt that picture appears anywhere in modern school text books, with or without the bottles.

Posted by: Greg at November 23, 2015 3:05 PM

Uh, no, the joinder of railroads at Promontory did NOT create a transcontinental railroad as the Central Pacific's terminus was at Omaha, not the East Coast.

There was no bridge over the Missouri River connecting the Railroad to the east coast railroad network. As a result, there was no continuous line from the east coast to the west coast. Passengers traveling west had to get off of the train in Council Bluffs, take a stage coach and a ferry boat across the river into Omaha, then get back on the train.

When and where was the Transcontinental Railroad completed? Strasburg, Colorado, on August 15, 1870.

Posted by: Earl T at November 23, 2015 5:06 PM

Regardless it couldn't be done today. Environmental Impact Study

Posted by: Mhf at November 23, 2015 6:13 PM

Permits alone would be more than $10 bil, then there's that imminent domain thing, and what about the animals, my gawd the animals....

100 Trumps couldn't make it happen today, but 1 senator could (with stolen money).

Posted by: ghostsniper at November 24, 2015 4:54 AM

Speaking of 'shopped out', I don't see any Chinese.

Posted by: Arthurstone at November 24, 2015 10:46 AM