UTAH

Chinese railroad workers remembered at Golden Spike 149th anniversary

May 10, 2018, 6:07 AM | Updated: 7:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Descendants of Chinese railroad workers are gathering in Utah this week, to commemorate and remember those who laid the tracks for the transcontinental railroad and led to the completion at Promontory Point.

Their contributions and work has been ignored or forgotten throughout history, but recently more efforts have been made to connect with the past and bring forward their stories.

Historians estimate that as many as 15,000 Chinese worked on constructing the railroad during construction.

This year is the 149th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869.

The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is holding a 3-day conference downtown, with presentations, workshops, and activities including a trip to Golden Spike and the Chinese Arch nearby.

One of the men here is Leland Wong, from San Francisco. His great-grandfather worked on the railroad, moving from the west coast to meet workers coming from the east coast and meeting at the completion of the transcontinental railroad and the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Point.

“I only found out in college when my parents told me,” he said about his great-grandfather’s story. “They never made a big thing of it.”

“There has not been a lot of acknowledgement in the history books. In social studies classes, I never heard of the Chinese working the railroad” he said.

He wants to remember their legacy.

“A lot of people want to sweep it under the rug. Even at the annual Golden Spike events, there’s hardly any mention of them. In the past years, I have been the lone Chinese person standing in the crowd among people wearing time-period costumes,” said Wong.


The historic celebratory photo from that day the Central Pacific and Union Pacific came together in 1869 doesn’t include any Chinese workers. In 2014, another photograph was taken, with descendants of those workers. And in 2012, A Chinese delegation visited Salt Lake City to receive a sculpture depicting a Chinese railroad worker with his wife and child.

CRWDA

On the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the railroad, a plaque was erected at the Golden Spike Historical Monument honoring Chinese workers. It reads: “To commemorate the centennial of the first transcontinental railroad in America and to pay tribute to the Chinese workers whose indomitable courage made it possible.”

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

Orem auto-pedestrian collision...
Mark Jones

Two people hurt in auto-pedestrian collision in Orem

Orem police are investigating an auto-pedestrian collision that sent two people to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
24 hours ago
making way for The Point, a guard tower is knocked down as part of the old state prison's demolitio...
Aimee Cobabe

As the old state prison goes down, development of The Point begins

The Point will take about two decades for developers to finish, but leaders in the project are optimistic that the planned community will be worth the wait.
24 hours ago
A former American Fork soccer coach is under arrest and facing six felony counts of child sexual ab...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Former American Fork soccer coach arrested on charges of child sexual abuse

The suspect arrested on charges of child sexual abuse was reportedly a soccer coach for the UC Strikers and Utah FC junior teams, between 2000 and 2014, according to American Fork Police.
24 hours ago
two deer are pictured gazing up along the grass, research will take a deep dive into deer this seas...
Elizabeth Weiler

DWR conducting deer research and checkups via helicopter transport

SALT LAKE CITY — Deer are plentiful in the Beehive State. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said this time of year is prime time to conduct deer research. DWR biologists are taking on a new form of research. The organization plans to capture deer and transport them via helicopter to different staging areas across […]
24 hours ago
bomb...
Elizabeth Weiler

Man arrested in relation to Provo Towne Center Mall bomb threat

A Provo man was arrested after calling in a bomb threat to his former employer. The man was recently fired.
24 hours ago
police respond after i-15 was closed due to a car chase...
Samantha Herrera

Officer-involved shooting causes delays on I-15 in Davis County

An officer-involved shooting closed southbound I-15 in Davis County on Wednesday morning. A suspect is in custody.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Chinese railroad workers remembered at Golden Spike 149th anniversary