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    Promontory Point: Large, Period Albumen of Original Watercolor or Ink Wash Depicting the Driving of the Golden Spike by Carl Dahlgren. On May 10, 1869 the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad tracks met at Promontory Point (properly known as Promontory Summit). In a huge celebration witnessed by hundreds, a gold spike was driven into the final railroad day (following the less familiar driving of a silver spike and one composed of an alloy of gold, silver and iron). The event was famously documented by photographer A. J. Russell, but here we have another depiction by an artist named Carl Dahlgren. While we have been unable to find any biographical information on Dahlgren, an important original inscription on the back of the frame states:

    "The Last Spike presented by David Hewes of San Francisco, which joined the Central Pacific to Union Pacific, making the First Trans Continental Railroad. Central Pacific started Jan. 3, 1863 finished with Gold Spike May 10, 1869. David Hewes...great great Uncle of Katherine Flint MacKay"

    David Hewes was a financier who played a major role in the project, including creation of the Golden Spike. In our June 2012 Legends of the West auction Heritage sold a presentation walking stick made by Hewes which incorporated gold from the Golden Spike batch and wood from the final railroad tie, which hammered for $95,000.

    Surrounding the ceremonial scene are small vignettes representing various points along the way, from Washington in the East to San Francisco in the West, each numbered and identified by a hand-lettered key at the bottom. Also identified by number and in the key below are figures surrounding the drawing of the spike. Leland Stanford and the other officers of the two railroads. A wonderful and important relic of one of the most famous events in the history of the American West. This rare, possibly unique, photo is matted and framed. It measures 18" x 15.5" [sight] and 22" x 20" when measured from the back. The original artwork may have been owned by Hewes, or he may have persuaded the artist to allow a copy of be made.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2016
    3rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 275

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