Today’s posting will be quite short as the history of the area is already quite well known. We’re visiting Craigellachie, British Columbia and — more specifically — the location where the Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven on November 7, 1885, exactly 132 years ago.
In all honesty, we visited the location back on October 3 of this year and I wrote this posting on October 25 but I thought it would be fun to set this to automatically post on the anniversary date. As an added bonus, I set the posting time to be 10:22 Mountain Time, which is 09:22 Pacific Time which is when the Last Spike was driven.
That spike was driven by Donald Smith and the moment was captured by Winnipeg photographer Alexander Ross. The image captured that day is likely one of the most famous photographs in all of Canadian history.
Today the site is a rest area located alongside a busy stretch of the TransCanada Highway. The parking lot is large enough to accommodate RVs which makes it a convenient stop for us, regardless of the historical significance. In addition, you will find a couple of displays, a gift shop, the requisite washrooms, and a cairn marking the Last Spike. The CPR still runs by this spot and trains are not uncommon to see. There is also a caboose on site, which is Canadian Pacific 437336. According to some very perfunctory internet research, this caboose was built in 1949 but I didn’t find much else about its history.
With a few photos taken and a magnet purchased from the gift shop, we were back on the road to continue on to the next stop along our Scratch the Surface Tour. Hopefully I will have had a chance to post a few more of those places before this post appears in November.
By Ross, Alexander, Best & Co., Winnipeg –
This image is available from Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number C-003693 and under the MIKAN ID number 3194527
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