East meets West
Reeanactment, Promentory Point, Utah
The "Golden Spike"
East meets West
One of the more frequent questions asked about the railway is how long it took to construct. By way of comparison I refer to the build out of the Transcontinental Railroad which took about six years to complete with two teams working east from California and west from Ohio and meeting at Promentory Point in Utah in 1869. The railway at Martini Junction took just about as long but of course we didn't have as large a labor force. The archival photo shows workers on the pilots of the two engines passing a champagne bottle at the meeting celebration and as I remember we had a few drinks when we finally finished ours.
A display at the Sculpture Park features a commemoration of the Golden Spike ceremony mounted on its own little piece of history which is a piece from Needham's famous "Blue Tree". The tree stood for many years in the Town Common, when in 1954 the start of a new tradition took place with the placement of 4,000 blue Christmas lights on the tree. The idea for this was put forth by a Needham businessman who was the president of the Board of Trade and the Needham Rotary. His name was Clark Wertheim and it so happens that my daughter Linda was married to Clark's son, Paul.
The tree itself was a Sugar Maple and in 2015, with its health failing, it was taken down. Linda had remarried after Paul's passing and my new son-in-law, Guy Coolen was somehow able to get some pieces of the tree, one of which holds the Golden Spike display. None of this was planned in any way but the manner in which it came together is part of the magic of Martini Junction.
Jim and Dan celebrating something.