SALT LAKE CITY — History buffs have only two weeks left to see Abraham Lincoln’s handwriting on the 1862 Pacific Railway Act before it and the other treasures from the transcontinental railroad are packed away.
“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these antiquities,” Jill Love, executive director of the Utah Department of Heritage and Art, said in a statement. “The Lincoln document only goes on public display once every 10 years or so because of the extensive security measures necessary to transport and protect it.”
The act provided federal government support for the building of the first transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.
The free exhibit in the Utah Capitol’s Gold Room also includes three of the four actual spikes used in the completion ceremony at Promontory Summit — the Hewes Gold Spike, the Nevada Spike and the Arizona Spike.
The display also includes the ceremonial mallet used to drive the spikes, an inscribed section of the last iron rail installed at Promontory Summit, a model 1866 lever-action Winchester rifle owned and used by Union Pacific chief engineer Grenville Dodge, and a collection of coins from the 1860s that include copper, silver and gold coinage paid to Chinese workers and Irish workers in 1863.
The exhibition, part of the Spike 150 celebration, runs until Monday, June 24. It is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.