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  • Ceremonial silver railway spike auctions for $22,000 in Reno
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Ceremonialrailwaysilverspike

Ceremonial silver railway spike auctions for $22,000 in Reno

A ceremonial silver railway spike made in the town of Rosita, Colarado to celebrate the arrival of the railway in 1881 has sold for $22,000.

Rosita silver spike
The Rosita silver spike is one of only two such US examples in private hands

The lot headlined a sale at Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada.

It was presented to the head of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (D&RGR) by the townsfolk after the line was completed at nearby Westcliffe.

The event had been a long time coming - The D&RGR had wrested control of the route from the rival Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway during the Railroad Wars of the 1870.

A row over the right to build a line through Colarado's Royal Gorge had spiralled out of control, with each side hiring gunmen.

There were a series of heavy fire fights in 1879 and ultimately Denver & Rio Grande emerged victorious, meaning that they were free to build on through to New Mexico.

A contemporary report in the Leadville Democrat on May 27, 1881 reads: "A band was in attendance at the depot when the ceremony of driving a silver spike was presented by the citizens of Rosita and made from the silver of the Rosita mines."

The lot is one of only two such US silver spikes in private hands.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Ceremonialrailwaysilverspike