FREMONT – John C Fremont Days always has special entertainment in the Chautauqua tent, but this year Fremont will receive a very special honor within the tent’s walls.
Union Pacific and the City of Fremont will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railroad reaching the Fremont on Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. with a special gift. “We will present the city with a commemorative golden spike,” said Kristen South, Director of Media Relations for Union Pacific. “I hope you can be there to celebrate with us.”
Union Pacific and Fremont have intertwined histories dating back to the 1850s. The first transcontinental railroad spurred growth for the Fremont area and Union Pacific continues to operate in the area today.
Fremont wasn’t incorporated as a town until 1858, but as early as 1853 General Grenville Dodge, Union Pacific’s chief engineer, suggested Fremont be a priority for railroad crews building to reach the west coast. In January 1866, Union Pacific completed its tracks and service was established.
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.
The commemorative Golden Spike is a replica of the one driven at Promontory Summit, Utah, uniting the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, and opening the American West.