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Plaque commemorates rail connection

I’ve been a railroad buff for many years, and I seem to recall that Ashland was the place where a ceremonial “golden spike” marked the completion of the rail line that connected California and Oregon. Is there any place where you can see evidence of this important connection?

Dave L., Medford

You’re right, Dave, Ashland has the distinction of being the location where the rail lines connected California and Oregon.

The driving of the “Golden Spike” occurred on Dec. 17, 1887. Railroad executive Charles Crocker, who was involved in the transcontinental railroad, had the honor of driving the spike during the ceremony.

A plaque commemorating the event is still located on A Street in Ashland’s railroad district, a short distance from the rail yard and Railroad Park.

The spike connected the Oregon and California tracks and created a circle of railroads around the United States.

The marker commemorating the event was erected on July 4, 1974, by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Grange Co-Op, the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the city of Ashland.

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