British Columbia's entry into Confederation, in 1871, was based on the condition that the construction of a transcontinental railway begin within 2 years and completed within 10 years. The contract was awarded to the partners of Donald Smith, J.J. Hill and George Stephen. The CPR company was incorporated in 1881. Under the management of W.C. Van Horne, construction moved rapidly across the plains. However, construction throught the Canadian Shield almost equalled in difficulty the construction through the mountains of B.C. Despite numerous setbacks, the last spike was driven at Craigellachie in Eagle Pass on the 7 Nov., 1885. During construction of the railway, the CPR became involved in the sale and settlement of land, the acquisition of the Dominion Express Co., and the acceptance of commercial telelgraph messages. The company also constructed numerous tourist hotels and dining halls along its route through the western mountains. These hotels and dining halls were the starting point from which the company later began their international development of hotels, steamships and airlines.