Harvey Houses of Texas

On the eve of the twentieth century, small-town Texas was still wild country lacking in the commodities and cultural centers of larger cities. This changed, however, with the arrival of the Santa Fe rail line, followed quickly by the Harvey House. Established in Kansas by English immigrant Fred Harvey, Harvey Houses could be found throughout the Southwest and adjoined local depots in sixteen Texas towns. Found in every corner of the state, Harvey Houses were not just restaurants and hotels for weary, hungry travelers but were also bustling social centers and often the only commercial outlet for the communities that developed around them. Author Rosa Walston Latimer tells the history of hospitality the "Fred Harvey way" in turn-of-the-century Texas, woven from personal stories of the famous "Harvey Girls" and other employees of Texas Harvey Houses.


Harvey Houses of Kansas

Starting in Kansas, Fred Harvey's iconic Harvey House was the first to set the standard for fine dining and hospitality across the rugged Southwest. In 1876, the first of Harvey's depot restaurants opened in Topeka, followed just a few years later by the first combination hotel and restaurant in Florence. Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls introduced good food and manners to the land of Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and raucous cattle drives. In her third book on the Harvey House legacy, author Rosa Walston Latimer goes back to where it all began in this history of hospitality from the Sunflower State.


Harvey Houses of New Mexico

The Santa Fe Line and the famous Fred Harvey restaurants forever changed New Mexico and the Southwest, bringing commerce, culture and opportunity to a desolate frontier. The first Harvey Girls ever hired staffed the Raton location. In a departure from the ubiquitous black and white uniform immortalized by Judy Garland in 1946's Harvey Girls, many of New Mexico's Harvey Girls wore colorful dresses reflective of local culture. In Albuquerque, the Harvey-managed Alvarado Hotel doubled as a museum for carefully curated native art. Join author Rosa Walston Latimer and discover New Mexico's unique history of hospitality the "Fred Harvey way."


Harvey Houses of Arizona


Valuing food quality as much as quality service, Harvey Houses changed the culture of western railroad towns. After Fred Harvey's death in 1901, sons Ford and Byron expanded the family business along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail lines. El Tovar opened in 1905 on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, signaling the arrival of the iconic brand to Arizona. New railroad depots and Harvey establishments reminiscent of the Spanish Colonial-Indian pueblo style of architecture followed. Well-paid European chefs trained every kitchen, and waitresses hailed from every walk of life. Author Rosa Walston Latimer celebrates hospitality the "Fred Harvey way" through the personal stories of the famous Harvey Girls and staff of luxury Harvey hotels in Ash Fork, Seligman, Williams, Winslow and beyond.