The Transcontinental Railroad & Utah: Telling the Story of Chinese Workers | Go out and go
On May 10, 1869, the Golden Spike was driven into the railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, completing the once unimaginable rail line that crossed the continent and dramatically shaped American history. The transcontinental railroad, crossing formidable terrain to connect the coasts, was a formidable achievement of engineering and a major factor in the country’s expansion westward.
A temporary exhibit currently on display at the Moab Museum explores this history, tracing the history of its creation and the predominantly Chinese workforce that did most of the work. Building the railroad was a difficult and dangerous endeavor, and about 75% of the workers who built the railroad were Chinese immigrants. These workers faced unsafe working conditions, racial discrimination and obstacles in their efforts to become citizens.
The exhibits presented include A transformed world: the transcontinental railroad in Utah and selections from Through Labor and Work: The Forgotten History of the Chinese Railroaders of Utah. These exhibits, which tell stories through photos, maps, lithographs, artefacts and stories collected from museums, archives and libraries across the country, originate from the Arts Division’s traveling exhibition program. and Utah Museums and are on display at the Moab Museum. until fall 2021.
The Moab Museum is dedicated to sharing stories of the natural and human history of the Moab region. For more information visit www.moabmuseum.org.