The LAST GOLDEN RIVET in the Golden Gate Bridge

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April 27th marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. On opening day ceremonies my husband’s grandfather Charles H. Segerstrom presented to the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District the last golden rivet that was driven into the bridge.

“I feel particularly honored in being chosen to make this gift of the Last Golden Rivet, a rivet of California gold, to the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District. It is my desire that it shall remain always in the steel into which it is driven. Mr. Strauss, as chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge, I place the golden rivet in your hands“, Charles H. Segerstrom.

“Thank you Mr. Segerstrom”, Joseph B. Strauss, in an international broadcast from the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, April 27, 1937 on opening day ceremonies.

The golden rivet was later replaced but the plaque remains on the site where it was driven making Grandfather a small part of the bridge’s illustrious history. A gold nugget found in one of his mines was on display for several years at the San Francisco Wells Fargo Museum. It was the largest nugget found at the time.

Charles’ descendants are proud of his many accomplishments and the roles he played in California’s history.

“Civilization is a product of many people and many ages. It is a part of each man’s inheritance. What he adds to the sum is a measure of his usefulness on earth. Each does what he can-each gives what he can that the future may be enriched. It is in this spirit I present the gold from California’s hills and fashion with my own hands the Last Rivet of the Golden Gate Bridge” Charles Segerstrom.

April 23, 2012

  1. Thank you for sharing this lovely story about his involvement. How exciting.

  2. Thank you Teresa. Being a Californian, I have a certain amount of sentimentality for the Golden Gate. Such a beautiful sight. Every time I cross it I am filled with pride and awe of it's beauty. I've been enjoying your posts on Splendid Sass! Do come again. Shiree'

  3. what a lovely story about an eloquent man. thank you for sharing him

  4. Thank you debra. I appreciate you dropping by! Shiree'

  5. What happened to the golden rivet? Where is it today?

  6. Paul, good question. Some say it fell into the water. Others say it was stolen.

  7. Now that is a shame to hear. I guess of the two resting places, I'd rather it fell in the bay. The golden spike of the transcontinental railroad is in a museum at Stanford. To me, this rivet is just as worthy! The bridge is an amazing engineering and architectural marvel.

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The LAST GOLDEN RIVET in the Golden Gate Bridge

The LAST GOLDEN RIVET in the Golden Gate Bridge

The LAST GOLDEN RIVET in the Golden Gate Bridge