Mystery object
This object is the official last spike for the Pacific line. The spike has been lost for many years. Many historians have investigated the matter, but no one has ever been able to find out what became of it. What a story!

Look at the photograph taken on November 7, 1885 to learn about the spike's history.

November 7, 1885
This photograph shows a very symbolic event. The driving in of the last official spike of the Transcontinental at Craigellachie, in British Columbia. The ceremony took place on November 7, 1885. You can visit this site, which is now operated and maintained by the Revelstoke Railway Museum.

Telegram to Sir John A. Macdonald
It was confirmed to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald in this telegram that the last spike had been officially driven in. The telegram was sent by William Van Horne, the CP general manager.

Do you know what a spike is used for?
A railroad line consists of two separate items: ties and rails or tracks. The ties, made of wood, are approximately 1.80 metres in length and the rails are made of steel. The ties and rails are held together by fishplates and spikes Read More
Mystery object
This object is the official last spike for the Pacific line. The spike has been lost for many years. Many historians have investigated the matter, but no one has ever been able to find out what became of it. What a story!

Look at the photograph taken on November 7, 1885 to learn about the spike's history.

November 7, 1885
This photograph shows a very symbolic event. The driving in of the last official spike of the Transcontinental at Craigellachie, in British Columbia. The ceremony took place on November 7, 1885. You can visit this site, which is now operated and maintained by the Revelstoke Railway Museum.

Telegram to Sir John A. Macdonald
It was confirmed to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald in this telegram that the last spike had been officially driven in. The telegram was sent by William Van Horne, the CP general manager.

Do you know what a spike is used for?
A railroad line consists of two separate items: ties and rails or tracks. The ties, made of wood, are approximately 1.80 metres in length and the rails are made of steel. The ties and rails are held together by fishplates and spikes (looks like a large nail).

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Last Official Spike

Donald Smith drives the Last Spike at Craigellachie, British Columbia.

National Archives of Canada
1885
c-003693
© National Archives of Canada.


Telegram

Telegram to Prime Minister John A. Macdonald Announcing the "Last Spike".

National Archives of Canada
1885
e-9485
© National Archives of Canada.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Develop an appreciation for the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)
  • Develop an understanding for the role that the CPR has had on communities throughout Canada
  • Discover information about the construction of railways

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