A Key Event in the History of the West and Box Elder County, Utah– where I live…

On 10 May 2019, the sesquicentennial of the joining of the rails will be celebrated at Golden Spike, Promontory Summit Utah. The celebration includes train rides, tours, access to their historical library, reenactments of the driving of the Golden Spike, refreshments, and all kinds of photo-ops.

In nearby Brigham City, about 70 miles north of Salt Lake City Utah, the Museum of History and Art will present an exhibit, “The Spike at 150:Myths and Realities,” with hands-on presentations and relics.

Let me introduce you to a book I discovered in a bookshop a while back–Lillian Schissel, et.al. Western Women: Their Land and Their Lives (Albuquerque NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1988). Some amazing evidence is presented in this book–including. the documentation of Native American women who supplied the labor for the Transcontinental Railroad. They graded the route and they laid the rails.

Indian women were dependable: they arrived on time and they stayed the whole day with a minimum of rest time. They were strong and did not shrink from difficult tasks. And they learned quickly without questioning their trainers.

John Mack Faragher wrote the chapter “The Custom of the Country: Cross-Cultural Marriage in the Far Western Fur Trade.” White-Indian marriages were stable, productive relationships with longevity and present-day descendants.

Add this book to your Winter reading list. You will be as amazed as I was with the new perspectives for family history to be gathered from these well-documented chapters. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS As I travel doing field research, and I am one of the few genealogists who still does field research, bookstores new and used are an integral part of my study. Each store, like each library, includes different research documentation. These resources match the people who settled the area and whose descendants are still around–asking librarians and store owners to find stuff they can read that meets their interests. Every bookstore carries books relevant to the field research that I do. Be alerted!

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