The Northern Pacific's Last Spike Excursion

Archive ID215
DescriptionThe Northern Pacific's Last Spike Excursion
Record TypeGeneric
CollectionThe Joseph A. Smith Collection
CreatorAmerican Heritage Publishing Company
Date Created
Reference #
SourceSmith, Joesph A.
Date AcquiredJune 28, 2006
Size14.5 x 9.0 cm
In ColorYes
Negative Exist
SubjectsAmerican Heritage Publishing Company
Baldwin Locomotive Works
Gold Creek, Montana
Locomotive, Steam
Northern Pacific Railway


22 THE NORTHERN PACIFIC'S LAST SPIKE EXCURSION Not enough money and too many Indians slowed down the Northern Pacific?s drive west from Lake Superior to Puget Sound. The national panic of 1873 had halted N. P. construction for five years, but under the presidency of Frederick Billings, for whom a Montana city is named, the railroad builders resumed their westward march. The N. P.?s next president, Henry Villard, pushed the line to completion despite trouble with the Sioux. The last spike was driven at Gold Creek, Montana, on September 8, 1883. Excursion trains such as this one took celebrities over the new line, stopping at Gold Creek for the ceremony. Among them were President Ulysses S. Grant, cabinet officials, Senators, Congressmen, governors of states, editors, and Army generals. This decorated engine, No. 154, bears the legend: "N. P. R. R. St. Paul, Minnesota, to Portland, Oregon." She was a woodburner (later converted to coal, renumbered 696), built by Baldwin in Philadelphia in 1883 and shipped via steamship all the way around Cape Horn to Sprague, Washington. She was scrapped in 1913. NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILWAY


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