Railway (CPR) was incorporated on February 16, 1881. Less than five
years later, a ribbon of steel united Canada when the railway line
from the east to the Pacific coast in the west was completed with
the driving of the 'Last Spike' at Craigellachie, British Columbia,
on November 7, 1885. This historical
event is commemorated at the small settlement of Craigellachie in
Eagle Pass, located alongside the Trans-Canada Highway between Sicamous
and Revelstoke in the BC Kootenays.
Canadian Pacific Railway Station
On that cold
November day in 1885, Canadian Pacific Railway director Donald Alexander
Smith, Lord Strathcona, raised his hammer to perform the greatest
symbolic act of Canada's first century. With a final blow he struck
the plain iron spike, forging Canada's first transcontinental railway,
from ocean to ocean. Often following
the footsteps of early explorers, nearly 3,000 miles of steel rail
pushed across vast prairies, cleft lofty mountain passes, twisted
through canyons, and bridged a thousand streams.
Donald Smith drives in the Last Spike
Canadian Pacific Railway, Craigellachie, BC
these mountains in the summer of 1865, Walter Moberley, assistant
surveyor-general of British Columbia, noted the flight of eagles
through a break in the Gold Range (Monashees), thereby discovering
Craigellachie BC, alongside the Eagle River
Eagle pass was chosen as the Canadian Pacific Railways route between
the drainage basins of the Columbia and Fraser rivers. The Last
Spike was driven here, in Eagle Pass at Craigellachie.
was named after the village of Craigellachie on the River Spey in
Moray, Scotland, the ancestral home of Sir George Stephen, the first
president of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
Station, Eagle Pass
Last Spike Cairn