A photographic journey through time tracing the historic race across the West to complete the first Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory on May 10th, 1869.
Come see a special photographic exhibit on the fourth floor of the Utah State Capitol building. Tracing the Path celebrates the pivotal contribution Utah made to U.S. History 150 years ago.
On May 10, 1869, the first Transcontinental Railroad joined the industrial East with the resource-rich West ‘with unbreakable ties of steel.’
Tracing the Path uses both historic and modern photographs to tell the story of how workers from California clawed through the Sierra Nevada mountains and flashed across Nevada to beat other builders from the East to the prize finish in Utah.
Over 80 percent of the workers from California were men from Southern China. Tracing the Path follows their footsteps showing where and how they worked. Old West photographers Alfred Hart, Andrew Russell, and others immortalized the men and the land during construction in the 1860s. 150 years later, photographer Li Ju returned to those same locations to capture the beautiful, haunting, isolated landscape today.
Tracing the Path shines a spotlight on Utah’s contribution to this huge endeavor. Utah Territory became the focus of the entire project. Learn how local Mormons, Irishmen, immigrants, former slaves, and veterans came together to give the country a giant boost into the 20th Century.
2019/01/23 - 2019/06/26
Additional time info:
Two other exhibits will also appear beside Tracing the Path at the State Capitol from January 23 to June 26, 2019. Utah State University presents A World Transformed, an overview of the tremendous impact of the Transcontinental Railroad. The final exhibit, Death, Taxes, and an Unexpected Windfall by the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts and the Utah Capitol Commission, tells the story of how the estate of railroad mogul E.H. Harriman transformed the art and architecture of the Capitol building.
These three organizations will hold a grand opening reception together on January 23rd from 3 pm to 5 pm.
There will be 15 minutes of opening remarks by USU and the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association. We will have some light refreshments and optional tours and talks with curators.
The exhibits are ready now for public preview.