In 1942 the old rails over the 123-mile Promontory Summit line were salvaged for war efforts in ceremonies marking the "Undriving of the Golden Spike." Artifact hunters picked over the area for ties and materials. The event of the completing of the transcontinental railroad, which some historians had compared in significance to the Declaration of Independence, seemed to fade from public consciousness.
However, a memorial marker of the "Last Spike" had been placed along the right-of-way in 1943, and in the years after World War II local residents began marking the event. In the 1948 reenactment of the driving of the last spike, miniature locomotives were furnished by the Southern Pacific. In 1951 a monument to the event was dedicated and placed in front of the Union Station in Ogden. In 1957 Congress established a seven-acre tract as the Golden Spike National Historic Site. Bernice Gibbs Anderson of Corinne organized the National Golden Spike Society in 1959 to promote the site. In 1965 Congress enlarged to site to encompass 2,176 acres and be administered by the National Park Service. That same year Weber County extended the highway from 12th Street to Promontory, which made access to the site easier.