The Golden Spike Monument is coming to the University of Utah on April 24 and Millcreek Common on May 10. These events will be the final opportunities to see the Golden Spike Monument in Salt Lake County before installation at the Golden Spike State Monument in Brigham City. 

The Golden Spike Monument

The 43’ tall golden public art piece was inspired by the golden spike that was ceremoniously driven into a laurelwood railroad tie on May 10, 1869, in Promontory, Utah, to signal the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. The monument hosts reliefs depicting scenes of those who worked to build the railroad, the people and environment impacted by the railroad, and many others whose vision and support were instrumental in bringing this historic feat of human engineering to fruition.

The Driving of the Spike: Jupiter Tour

The Driving of the Spike: Jupiter Tour brings attention to the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad’s portion of the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Utah. Unable to find enough workers in California, the Central Pacific Railroad recruited thousands of Chinese laborers from the Chinese province of Guangdong. Using mostly hand tools and a dangerous mix of nitroglycerin and black powder, these workers chiseled and blasted through the granite fortress of the Sierra Nevada mountains to build 15 tunnels. They endured frostbite and avalanches that came with the harsh winters. More than one thousand Chinese workers are estimated to have lost their lives while building the railroad. 

U of U Whistle Stop

The University of Utah Whistle Stop kicks off the Jupiter Tour on April 24. The event, located at the top of Presidents Circle, runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and includes display panels and guest speakers. 

Millcreek Common Whistle Stop

The Millcreek Common Whistle Stop is on May 10, which is the 155th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Festivities are planned from 12:30 to 10 p.m., including:

  • FREE roller skate admission ($5 skate rental), Golden Spike art project, themed bandana giveaways, games, monument puzzles, train rides, and music by DJ John Smith.
  • Public lecture: What We Know About the Chinese Railroad Worker Experience, Presented by Chris Merritt, Utah State Historic Preservation Officer
  • Food available at Millcreek Common restaurants, Night Market, and New Americans International Market at the Public Market
  • Evening Performances every 30 minutes beginning at 6 p.m. by Canyon Rim Jump Team, “As One” Skate Loop Legends Performance, History Fun Facts, and Golden Spike Skate Train
     

A full schedule of the events can be found at www.spike150.org/driving. Don’t miss these opportunities to see the giant golden wonder up-close and learn about the history told through the reliefs on the sculpture.

You can find more information about other stops on the Driving of the Spike: Jupiter Tour, at www.spike150.org/driving. Follow the tour on Instagram @spike150utah.