How the West Was Fed: A Tale of Fred Harvey and His Girls

How the West Was Fed: A Tale of Fred Harvey and His Girls

How The West Was Fed:

A Tale Of Fred Harvey And His Girls

 

Will Rogers described Fred Harvey as the man that “kept the West in food…and wives.” Fred Harvey pioneered many of the innovative approaches to food service, hospitality, and of the Southwest style in both jewelry and architecture.

As a young freight broker, Fred was appalled at the lack of any coordinated approach, inconsistency of service and food quality available to rail passengers. Partnering with the country’s biggest railroad company, the AT & SF, Fred Harvey began first building restaurants and then hotels along the RR route from Chicago to Los Angeles, bringing at the time “ New York and London” quality food to the West. The greatest challenge was to serve excellent meals that could be enjoyed in 20 minutes or less – the allocated time for dining stops.

Fred Harvey

Fred Harvey’s commitment to excellence and a standard of quality and service set the tone for the changes the Railroad would bring to this new and growing part of our country. The opening of the Raton, NM pass to rail traffic in 1879, heralded the beginning of the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, and this new mode of transportation, stretching all the way to the Pacific, required the creation of the first chain of restaurants, and then hotels. Standardization, so necessary then, later sadly grew into rampant American led, world-wide “white bread” commercialism. But then, understandably, everything had to be done the “Fred Harvey way,” which assured excellence and predictability to the diners heading west. This was how Fred Harvey fed the West.

Fred Harvey Lunchroom, Santa Fe Hotel, Canadia, Texas

Fred Harvey Lunchroom, Santa Fe Hotel, Canadia, TX

Scene from The Harvey Girls

Scene from “The Harvey Girls” Film

And how to keep the restaurant service consistent? Fred Harvey created a service army of honest, skilled, educated and attractive women – quickly dubbed “The Harvey Girls,” and from the 1880s until the end of the 1940s, the Harvey Girls totaled 20,000 young ladies spread out along the Western railroad stops. Here were the brides-to-be for the ranchers, merchants and entrepreneurs that grew this country.

The Harvey Girls Film Poster

And to assure a definitive style and architectural excellence, Fred Harvey brilliantly employed the great architect Mary Coulter to design his beautiful hotels…from Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, to Albuquerque and on past the Grand Canyon. Mary Coulter is credited with creating what would become the world recognized “Santa Fe Style.”

And finally, from simple counter sales in Gallup, NM, Fred Harvey brought together the Indian jewelers with their one-of-a-kind handicrafts, potters and weavers – orchestrating and coordinating their efforts into a look that became, like everything else Fred Harvey, a distinctive style that would lead the way for the future successful refinement and commercialization of Southwestern arts and crafts that we know so well today.

So, within a score of years, what began as an idea brought on by Fred Harvey’s distaste of bland and inconsistent railroad fare, turned into the first chain of restaurants, hotels and gift shops in the West. Today, “Fredheads” keep his legacy alive, honoring a man whose vision literally changed the West for the better in everything he touched.

Presently, the New Mexico History Museum has a “must see” show on display commemorating the great visionary and his Harvey Girls. And if you wish to delve more into this historical time, watch The Harvey Girls, a 1946 musical film starring Judy Garland about the opening of a “Harvey House” at a remote whistle stop to provide good food and company to railway travelers.

Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls

Discover the tradition of delicious fare & high service standards that Fred Harvey began

The Agoyo Lounge and the accommodations of the Inn on the Alameda embody Fred Harvey’s tradition of service.

A City of Superlatives

A CITY OF SUPERLATIVES Santa Feans will gladly tell you the many superlatives that define the city. The oldest. The highest. The best. While there’s no denying the city’s altitude, the veracity of the best is up to you because when it comes to oldest,...

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Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Our region of the country is blessed with a bountiful variety of flavorful foods – and the Santa Fe Farmers Market provides the ideal showcase for all manner of fresh vegetables, fruits, and tasty treats on Saturdays year-round and on Tuesdays May 2nd to November 20th.

farmers-market-produce

Voted one of the “Top Ten Farmers’ Markets” by Sunset Magazine, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful growers’ markets in the country.

Serving more than 150 farmers and producers in 15 Northern New Mexico counties, the Market brings fresh food, education, and fun to our community and promotes small farms and sustainable agriculture in Northern New Mexico. With specialty shops, local crafts and ad hoc performances this farmers market has provided family-friendly fun for nearly everyone since 1968!

farmers-market-ristras

Hungry for something to do mid-week? In addition to the freshest produce around, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market will host fun family activities, provide multiple farm-fresh dinner options, and offer a diverse array of programming from Joe Hayes (author and storyteller) to Wise Fool New Mexico (circus entertainment.) And, we are proudly partnering with multiple businesses in the Railyard (including Blue Rain GalleryEVOKE Contemporary and Tai Modern galleries; Second Street Brewery and other restaurants; and the Violet Crown) to bring you the weekly “Wednesday Eve @ The Railyard” event series. July 4th through September 26th, 3pm-6pm.

santa-fe-market-street

The Food

There is nothing like the taste of fresh locally grown produce. The Santa Fe Farmers Market features produce native to the region for locals and visitors to sample – and take home. The Saturday market is open year-round and features the widest variety of foods. The Tuesday market is open from 8am to 1pm daily from May 2 to Nov. 20. Along with farm fresh fruits and vegetables, the market features festive music and tasty burritos. Yum! Market, open from June 21 to Sept. 27, caters to the summertime after-work crowd. Hours are from 3-7 p.m.

farmers-market-berries

Mark your calendars for several visits to the Santa Fe Farmers Market this year. And afterwards, relax at the Inn on the Alameda for a drink – or for the night!

A City of Superlatives

A CITY OF SUPERLATIVES Santa Feans will gladly tell you the many superlatives that define the city. The oldest. The highest. The best. While there’s no denying the city’s altitude, the veracity of the best is up to you because when it comes to oldest,...

read more
History of the Anasazi

History of the Anasazi

Hundreds of years ago, the Anasazi, also known as the Ancestral Pueblo people, carved their homes from the volcanic turf at the sides of the cliffs in the Jemez Mountains. Today, visitors can explore this complex of cliff dwellings, called the Bandelier National Monument.  

The 50-square-mile monument offers a glimpse inside the lives of the Anasazi, including their farming and eating habits. Their diets consisted of corn, beans, squash, and native plants, along with deer, rabbit, and squirrel meat. The Anasazi also had domesticated turkeys.  

Along with the actual pueblo homes, visitors can see cave paintings and petrogylphs created by the Anasazi. There are miles of hiking trails, and the area is home to abundant wildlife. While you’re there, you may spot one of the black bears or mountain lions that inhabit the national monument area.  

The visitor center at the Bandelier National Monument features a museum with exhibits about the Anasazi, including pottery, tools, and other items of daily life. Other exhibits include dioramas demonstrating how the Anasazi lived, artwork, a 10-minute film, and more.  

The roads winding through the Jemez Mountains, just northwest of Santa Fe, are filled with history. Along with the Bandelier National Monument, the area is home to a volcanic crater and the birthplace of the atom bomb. You can see it all in a day’s trip from Santa Fe.  

 Ready to take a trip back in time? Let us help plan your next adventure! 

Field Trips Aren’t Just for School Kids

Field Trips Aren’t Just for School Kids

When was the last time you went on a field trip? We bet it’s been a while.

Santa Fe’s School for Advanced Research offers seasonal field trips for adventurers and knowledge-seekers of all ages. Local archaeological experts are hosting a field trip to El Morro and Zuni Pueblo for a two-day, overnight exploration the weekend of October 20th-21st.

El Morro, or “The Heartland,” is 200-foot bluff where Ancestral Puebloans lived long before Europeans arrived, and carved petroglyphs into the soft walls. Starting in the late 1500s, Spaniards and then Americans carved their names, dates, and messages into the walls as they passed through the area. The El Morro National Monument protects more than 2,000 of these inscriptions and petroglyphs, along with Ancestral Puebloan ruins.

At Zuni Pueblo, you will learn more about the Zuni’s unique fetish carvings and inlay silverwork. You’ll tour the exhibits at the Ashiwi Awan Museum and Heritage Center, and head to the Middle Village for a walking tour through the cultural heart of the Zuni people. The trip extends to Hawikkuh, one of the fabled Cities of Gold, where Zuni ancestors have lived since 1200 AD. It is the first place of documented Southwest history.

Don’t miss this intimate look at New Mexico history and culture guided by experts in the history of the Southwest. Let us be your home base in Santa Fe. Schedule your stay now.

Santa Fe’s Film Heritage

Santa Fe’s Film Heritage

For nearly two decades, the five-day Santa Fe Film Festival has celebrated the best in cinematic arts, both locally and globally.  

 The 17th annual event is a must-do for film buffs, art enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a unique cultural experience. The program features more than 80 films, panels, juried awards, workshops, and parties to celebrate Santa Fe’s rich heritage in film.  

 Festival attendees can mingle with filmmakers from all over the world and enjoy screenings of some highly artistic and intriguing films that have been delicately curated by festival organizers.  

 The 2017 Santa Fe Film Festival is December 6-10, and features narrative and documentary films, shorts of all kinds, and tributes to world-renowned film artists and industry professionals. There is also a special spotlight on New Mexican filmmakers and film crews.  

 Don’t miss Santa Fe’s leading exhibition and educational gateway into all things cinematic in New Mexico. Come visit and watch!

Midday Munching

Midday Munching

Spending a morning strolling downtown Santa Fe and exploring galleries and shops can really work up an appetite. For the perfect midday nosh, stop by Palacio Café.  

From enchilada plates to tacos, smothered burritos, and burgers, Palacio Café makes choosing what’s for lunch pretty tough. No matter what you decide, you won’t be disappointed. And, the big portions will leave you so stuffed, you’ll have to head back to the hotel for a quick nap.  

On the lighter side, there’s a large sandwich menu with many panini and cold sandwich options, including the popular piled-high Palacio Club. Or, you can choose a bowl of pozole or one of the featured salads. Plus, there are plenty of vegetarian options.   

If you get there before 11 a.m., you can savor one of the café’s breakfast items. Think: breakfast burritos, tacos, omelets, and more.  

The cozy Palacio Café is also a great stop for an afternoon espresso or fresh-squeezed lemonade break. Grab a sidewalk table for great people watching and take in the neighborhood.  

Santa Fe misses you! Call us today to book your stay!

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