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Union Pacific is planning a special presentation on Saturday during the John C. Fremont Days festival.

The public is invited to a Golden Spike presentation starting at 2 p.m. in the Chautauqua Tent in John C. Fremont City Park.

“We are very excited that we’re coming up on the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad and Fremont is one of the many communities on that route,” said Kristin South, UP director of media relations. “We will present a commemorative Golden Spike to the community as a ‘thank you’ for all of our shared history and efforts together to build a great community.”

May 10, 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of driving the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, uniting the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, opening the American West.

It was a turning point that revolutionized the nation’s settlement and economic development, UP information states.

“Union Pacific has had a presence in Fremont since the 1850s and we continue to be there and prosper today and we’re proud to be a neighbor,” South told the Tribune.

Fremont was incorporated as a town in 1858, but as early as 1853 General Grenville Dodge, Union Pacific’s chief engineer, suggested Fremont be a priority for railroad crews building out west.

In January 1866, Union Pacific completed its tracks and service was established, states railroad information.

Fremont served as the winter quarters for the railroad’s construction crews through that first season, and by 1876 the town had grown into an agricultural center on the railroad’s main line, responsible for exporting more than 42 million pounds of grain annually.

In January 1904, Union Pacific and Chicago & North Western constructed Union Station.

Builders couldn’t know that fewer than 20 years later President Warren G. Harding’s funeral train would pass through the community.

South hopes area residents will attend the event.

“It’s a really great chance to come together as a community and celebrate history and the future and what the next 150 years holds,” she said.

South noted that the railroad also will provide a plastic banner with some history that can be displayed with the spike.

The spike will be on display at the information booth in the park for the remainder of the festival, then will be on exhibit on the second floor of the city’s municipal building, 400 E. Military Ave.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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