Canadian Pacific marks a significant milestone this year as it celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the driving of the Last Spike, which signaled the completion of Canada’s first transcontinental railroad. In celebration of this anniversary, CP today presented the first of its archives Legacy gifts to the Banff Whyte Museum.
“In honor of our connected history, we are donating unique items from our extensive collection of vintage memorabilia to a number of the museums and historical societies that play a vital role in sharing Canada’s diverse history and culture,” said CP President & CEO Fred Green.
These legacy gifts will be delivered to selected organizations throughout the summer and will include a selection of crockery and engraved silverware and flatware dating from the 1890s.
Devoted to the cultural history of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and mountain cultures throughout the world, the Whyte Museum makes an ideal first recipient.
“The Canadian Pacific Railway and Banff National Park’s histories are inseparable, with railway President William Van Horne’s influence on the creation of the first National Park in 1885,” said Michale Lang, Executive Director of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. “The railway was the engine that drove early tourism in the Rockies and these objects capture the nostalgia of those early days. We are grateful to the Canadian Pacific Railway for such a fitting addition to our collection.”
Banff National Park is marking its 125 anniversary with a number of special events. CP’s 2816 Empress Steam Train is in Banff today and Saturday to celebrate with the community. The Empress has brought its heritage fleet which includes CP’s museum car - a vintage baggage car from the 1950s refurbished and transformed to provide people an interactive view of CP’s history.
The actual Last Spike that marked the completion of the transcontinental railway on November 7, 1885 will be on the display in the museum car for public viewing. It is generously on loan from the Canada Science & Technology Museum.
“The histories of Canada and our railway remain closely connected to this day,” added Green. “CP looks forward to continuing to be a vital part of Canada’s economy safe for the next 125 years.”
As part of its 125th anniversary of the Last Spike, the Empress 2816 Steam Train and its museum car will tour various communities in Western Canada. The public can learn more by visiting www.cpr.ca