Ten Miles in One Day, Victory Camp, Utah, April 28, 1869
In 1862, the Pacific Railway Act provided funding for a transcontinental railway that would connect burgeoning California with the rest of the country. The Union Pacific Railroad was given the contract to build west from Omaha, Nebraska and the Central Pacific Railroad would build east from Sacramento, California. In 1869, the two railroads met at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory. Victory Camp (later named Rozel Point), located west of Promontory, was so called because Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific won a $10,000 wager from the Union Pacific that his crews could lay more miles of track than the Union Pacific. The Central Pacific hired an additional crew of Chinese laborers. Working alongside the Irish track layers, they built over ten miles of track in twelve hours, a feat that has never been equaled. Their efforts completed the Central Pacific segment of the Transcontinental Railroad. On May 10, 1869, the two tracks met at Promontory Summit in the famous Golden Spike ceremony. Local officials turned out to drive the ceremonial Golden Spike with the ceremonial silver sledgehammer, which made official the joining of the East Coast and the West. After the ceremony had ended, the Golden Spike and laurel railroad tie were removed and Chinese laborers quietly finished the track with a wooden tie and steel spike.
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