It is possible to say that anything past is “historical.” The substitute who comes off the bench to win the school’s basketball game at the last minute has participated in a historical achievement after the final buzzer sounds. Sports’ organizations keep track of the accomplishments of their teams and players in a historical way, giving credit to substitutes when deserved. The driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, is a historical event that used substitutes.
|Photo by: Andrew J. Russell, Union Pacific Railroad|
During my research for writing the final book in my trilogy, Golden Spike, I came across some interesting facts that are usually glossed over during the telling of the story of the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads at Promontory Summit. I learned that like the starter in a sporting event, the locomotive that begins the game may not be the one at the finish line. The two famous locomotives that touched cowcatchers when the golden spike was driven were both substitutes. Will Braddock is going to stand beside these famous substitutes when he appears in the not too distant future in Golden Spike–The Iron Horse Chronicles, Book Three. Since I am still writing that book, and rather than keep you waiting until anticipated publication in 2016, I present herewith the fascinating information about how two substitutes became the most famous locomotives in history.
|Central Pacific Engine "Jupiter"|
|Union Pacific Locomotive #119|
|Reenactment of the Golden Spike Ceremony on May 10, 2014|