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Deer Lodge in Powell County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

1909 Last Spike Monument

The Milwaukee Road

 
 
1909 Last Spike Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2013
1. 1909 Last Spike Monument
Inscription.  The last spike of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad’s (better known as the Milwaukee Road) Puget Sound Extension connecting Chicago to Seattle was driven near Gold Creek, Montana some 17 miles west of here on May 19, 1909. This monument was erected near that site to celebrate the event.

The monument was re-erected and dedicated on this site August 2, 2003. Restoration efforts by Powell county Museum & Arts Foundation, Dick Bauman, George Hamblin and the Milwaukee Road Historical Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker and monument is listed in these topic lists: Notable EventsRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is May 19, 1909.
 
Location. 46° 23.445′ N, 112° 44.158′ W. Marker is in Deer Lodge, Montana, in Powell County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Business Interstate 90) and Conley Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Marker is located on the grounds of the Milwaukee Road Exhibits, beside the subject monument, near the parking lot at the south end of the Old Prison Museums Complex. Touch for map.
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Marker is at or near this postal address: 1110 Main Street, Deer Lodge MT 59722, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Electrified Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Montana Prison (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1896 Cell House (about 600 feet away); 1870-1931 Federal Building (about 700 feet away); 1931 Administration Building (about 700 feet away); 1959 Riot (about 700 feet away); Execution of George Rock (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1912 Cell House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deer Lodge.
 
More about this monument. Marker is a large laser-printed metal plaque, mounted horizontally at waist-level on a metal post.
 
Also see . . .
1. Milwaukee Road, Route of the Hiawathas. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific (CMStP&P) headed west in 1909. The company's board of directors approved the plan on November 28, 1905 and a financially healthy CMStP&P went west, at a projected cost of $60 million. With crews working rapidly from multiple directions the entire Pacific Coast Extension was finished in a mere three years with the formal “Last Spike” ceremony held at Garrison, Montana on May 19, 1909. The CMStP&P blossomed into an impressive system that battled not only for the highly competitive Midwestern agricultural business but also lucrative Pacific Northwest transcontinental
Marker detail: The Last Spike Ceremony of the Pacific Coast Extension – Montana image. Click for full size.
Photo 76-158, K Ross Toole Archives, University of Montana - Missoula
2. Marker detail: The Last Spike Ceremony of the Pacific Coast Extension – Montana
traffic. CMStP&P launched a unique streamliner, the Hiawatha, in 1935. It enjoyed the longest, end-to-end network of any American railroad, stretching from Louisville, Kentucky to the Puget Sound. (Submitted on December 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Puget Sound Extension. Not only was the line built in record time but it also was an engineering marvel. While the Puget Sound Extension would ultimately cross no less than five different mountain ranges on its way to Seattle including the Belts, Bitterroots, Cascades, Rockies, and Saddles it did so at a much lower ruling grade than its competitors. The line would also be at least 18 miles shorter than either the NP's or GN's, and traveled through fewer population centers cutting down transit times even further, as well as giving the CM&StP a more direct route. (Submitted on December 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The Milwaukee Road. The road crossed the Cascades at Snoqualmie Pass, already examined and rejected by the Northern Pacific in favor of Stampede Pass a little to the south. Built from both west and east, the two sections met near Garrison, Montana, where a last spike was driven on 19 May 1909. Through passenger service to the Pacific began on 10 July. A final link, the 2¼-mile-long Snoqualmie Tunnel, was completed in 1915. The original cost estimate for the line was $45
1909 Last Spike Monument (<i>wide view; marker visible beside monument - on the right</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2013
3. 1909 Last Spike Monument (wide view; marker visible beside monument - on the right)
million, increased to $60 million to allow for contingencies. But the actual cost came in at $234 million. The Puget Sound Extension never produced the revenue projected for it. (Submitted on December 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
1909 Last Spike Monument (<i>wide view from Main Street</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 10, 2013
4. 1909 Last Spike Monument (wide view from Main Street)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 24, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 426 times since then and 125 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2023