Golden Spike | Spike 150

Golden Spike

As the Transcontinental Railroad was nearing completion, contractor David Hewes knew that was something missing. No one had planned a celebration for the completion of this historic event. Hewes spent $400 of his own money to have a golden spike cast and engraved. This world-famous spike was “driven” into the ground as one of the final four spikes.

The three spikes were soon dispersed to museums throughout the nation. In 2019 there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the spikes back together in Utah. Check out the free Spencer Fox Eccles Treasures of the Transcontinental Railroad exhibit at the Utah State Capitol Gold Room from May 3rd – June 24th, 2019.

Continue Your Student's Discovery

Additional Questions and Discussions for Your Students

     Discuss with your class after viewing the Golden Spike AR:

  • If you were to engrave something that would be read in 150 years from today, what would it say? What would you want to be remembered?
  • The spikes were used to celebrate the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. What objects or activities do we use today to mark the completion of a project?
  • The anniversary we celebrate is on May 10, 1869.  Why do you think the date on the spike says May 8th, 1869?