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A World Transformed: the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah

May 10, 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. Utahans played a major role in the completion of the railroad through investment, surveying, and labor. Depending on your viewpoint, the railroad changed Utah for both good and ill, but everyone would agree that the railroad brought significant cultural, economic, and environmental changes. Utah became more connected both economically and culturally with the rest of the nation. Eastern goods could be shipped quickly and cheaply to Utah and Utah products had a market with the rest of the nation. The railroad also brought changes at a personal level. A difficult journey of three months from Omaha, Nebraska to Salt Lake City, now took three days. Loved ones separated by the great distances of the continent could be reunited and Mormon converts and missionaries had a much easier and quicker journey to and from Utah.

Utah State University and the Utah State Division of History have partnered to create an exhibit, A World Transformed: the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah, which shares the personal stories of the people who built it and those whose lives were forever changed in both big ways and small. A World Transformed is a smaller version of an exhibit that will be displayed from February to June 2019 in the Utah State Capitol. It draws upon the many rich historical resources held by different institutions across Utah including photographs, maps, art, and lithographs.  It consists of six stand-alone banners.

Resources

2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Tooele Junior High, Mar 13 – Apr 15, 2018
Western Mining and Railroad Museum, Helper, Apr 25 – May 30