On this day back in 1885, Canada’s transcontinental railways was symbolically completed with the hammering in of the last spike. The railway is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Canada. The image of the train executives posing to hammer in the last spike is famous in Canada. But there’s more to the story – as the Canadian Encyclopedia puts it, “After the dignitaries left on that gloomy November morning, the workmen persuaded the photographer to insert another plate and they posed for their own version of the Last Spike.” Here’s their picture.
Eight years ago, I got the chance to do something I wanted to do for most of my life – take the train across Canada. We did it in a couple trips Toronto to Vancouver and later Toronto to Quebec City so we never made it completely across Canada. And we did it with a teething baby.
Nonetheless, it was truly a trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend it – the history and scenery that one passes is incredible. And here’s one such image:
I sent this postcard to a friend from a stopover in Jasper, Alberta. (I love it when people give me back the postcards I sent them.)
And on the other side is:
[Top:] “Canadian Rockies”
[Bottom:] “The Royal Hudson is seen here making it’s (sic) last run through the Canadian Rockies”.
“Dear X. Our last day of our trip and we saw this and thought: XXX. The imagery speaks for itself. Enjoy!! Ciao, Glen.”