Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
First Transcontinental Railroad Groundbreaking Site
You are standing where the First Transcontinental Railroad in America had its western origin, at Front and K Streets in Sacramento.
On January 8, 1863, prominent citizens and railroad founders gathered here for a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. For over six years, thousands labored to connect the Central Pacific from the west with the Union Pacific Railroad from the east.
On May 10, 1869, the driving of the "Last Spike" at Promontory, Utah, signified the completion of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, uniting the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts. The nation, still recovering from a divisive Civil War, celebrated with cannon and gun salutes and the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
For the first time in the history of the world and entire continent could be traversed in a matter of days, by both people and all types of goods.
To learn more, visit these nearby places:
The California State Railroad Museum at Second and I Streets exhibits California Historical Landmark plaque No. 780, First Transcontinental Railroad and others.
Erected by California State Railroad Museum and California State Parks. (Marker Number 780.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 8, 1863.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. 38° 34.956′ N, 121° 30.37′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker is at the intersection of Front Street and K Street, on the left when traveling north on Front Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sacramento CA 95814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named First Transcontinental Railroad Groundbreaking Site (here, next to this marker); Freight on the Move (here, next to this marker); Pony Express River Steamer “Antelope” (a few steps from this marker); Lady Adams Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Booth Building (about 300 feet away); Sacramento River Waterfront Vernon-Brannan House (about 400 feet away); Sacramento's Early Waterfront (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
More about this marker. This is the location of California Historical Landmark No. 780 — First Transcontinental Railroad. The official State marker is inside the railroad museum.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on March 11, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 20, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. 3. submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.