1914 RPPC Fort Fraser B.C. GTPR track arriving for ‘Last Spike’

++RARE++ photo.

On front, from negative ‘SHOWING TRACK LAYER ARRRVING FROM THE EAST MAKING THE LAST CONNECTION GTPR FT FRASER APRIL 7/191_

Back of postcard has same handwritten text describing the event.

Nice + condition.

 

The Last Spike of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was driven one mile east of Fort Fraser, British Columbia, Canada on April 7, 1914.

On April 7, 1914, the Grand Trunk Pacific Last Spike ceremony was held 1.5 kilometres east of Fort Fraser, BC, approximately 135 kilometres west of what is now Prince George.

The president of the Grand Trunk Pacific, Edson J. Chamberlain and Alfred Waldron Smithers, chairman of the board of directors, and other officers of the company all arrived by train from Winnipeg and Montreal, while from Prince Rupert, more dignitaries came for the ceremony, among these, General Superintendent W.C.C. Mehan, Superintendent G.A. McNichol, Division Engineer C.C. Vanarsdol and Assistant Engineer W.H. Tobey.

The ceremony began with a race between the track-layers and crews from the eastern and western ends of construction. The last mile had been left unfinished and each crew was timed to see who could complete their last half mile the fastest. The eastern crew won by a margin of only a few minutes and then the western crew placed the last rail.

Edson Chamberlain drove the last spike, (not a golden one but a standard black iron one), and once he completed that task, he gave gold watches to the men in charge of each crew. Painted on the last tie was "Point of Completion April 7th, 1914". After the ceremony, that last 11-foot (3.4 m) section of rail was removed and sliced into sections and then polished and engraved. The pieces were given to railway officials as paper-weights. One of these is in the possession of the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum.

WIKIPEDIA

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