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Dimensions4118 x 2924
Original file size18.9 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUnknown
Date modified31-May-11 21:53
Shooting Conditions

Camera makePlustek
Camera modelOpticFilm 7200i
JUPITER #1 (Promontory UT)

JUPITER #1 (Promontory UT)

The elegant Jupiter was Central Pacific's representative in the Golden Spike Ceremony on May 10, 1869. This train is a highly-accurate replica, as is the Union Pacific's 119.

Prior to 1869, people heading to the new state of California or the Oregon Territory basically had three choices. One was a dangerous boat trip around South America. Another was a boat trip to Panama, a dangerous crossing on foot, then another boat trip. The third was to go by covered wagon or horseback across the continent.

The third option was not without its dangers--and many pioneers died en route--but it may have been the safest.

Transportation across the Eastern US was available to jumping off points like Kansas City and St. Joseph MO plus Omaha NE. There you bought a wagon, livestock and supplies, and likely joined up with a group and guide.

This all changed with the transcontinental rail link in 1869. The Central Pacific built east from Sacramento CA to join the Union Pacific building west from Omaha. They met here on the barren north shore of Great Salt Lake, when a golden spike joined the last rail to the last tie. (That spike was quickly removed and is now in a museum in California.)

The Golden Spike Ceremony is reinacted every year on the morning of May 10. This shot, along with all the others from Promontory UT, was taken the day before the event.