For more photos of the Golden Spike Ceremony,
A Golden Spike ceremony was held in Danbury on the Northern Rail Trail on Sunday using one of the original gold spikes from the October 2005 ribbon cutting ceremony dedicating the very first section of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County, N.H. The ceremony is reminiscent of the 1869 event in Utah when the first transcontinental railway was opened. Bob Ward, President of Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County (FNRT-MC), hosted the ceremony before an appreciative crowd of about 150. State Executive Council member Ray Burton, who has been a long-time supporter of the recreational rail trail system, presented FNRT-MC with an officially signed commendation from Governor Lynch.
About 40 members of the Kearsarge, Hopkinton and Upper Valley Community Bands played railroad-themed music before and after Bob Ward presented the historical timeline of the rail trail and passed out mounted golden spikes to towns and organizations which have been supportive of the effort. Following the ceremony of the actual tapping of the golden spike into the hardpack, refreshments from the Danbury General Store and Dick’s Country Store were enjoyed, and tours of the rail trail and 100 year old Danbury Grange were led by organization leaders.
Representing the receivers of these awards were: Allan Houle Vice President Andover Snowmobile Club, Ken Merrifield Mayor City of Franklin, Larry Keniston NH Department of Transportation, Bernard Golden Selectman Town of Danbury, Ray Burton NH Executive Council, Jacob Johnson Selectman Town of Andover. Following the ceremony of the actual tapping of the golden spike into the hardpack, refreshments from the Danbury General Store and Dick’s Village Store were enjoyed, and tours of the rail trail and 100 year old Danbury Grange were led by organization leaders.
As a surprise treat, Mike Loomis event coordinator for FNRT and daughter Siena offered rides in the Loomis’s 1971 Schwinn pedal car, a family treasure. This fiberglass and plastic model bike emerged as an answer to the call for alternative transportation at a time of spiking gas prices.
FNRT-MC has received two gifts recently, one monetary and the other honorary. The State of New Hampshire has approved a FNRT-MC request for a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant to extend the rail trail further towards Concord this fall. Also, in June the Lakes Region Planning Commission honored FNRT-MC with a plaque in recognition for a job well done in recreational trail building.
Check out the video of Disabled Veterans
cycling on the Northern Rail Trail on Youtube