FRED HARVEY through the Southwest

If you're of a certain age and you travelled through the Southwest during the 1950s or earlier you'll recognize the Fred Harvey name and logo. I know I ate at a few Fred Harvey restaurants, but by the time I was there the romance of what they'd been had long since vanished. In their heyday they were the place to eat along the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe railroad. And nothing made it seem grander than Judy Garland in "The Harvey Girls" singing that Oscar winning song. 

You can read about the real Fred Harvey at Wikipedia and how he started this chain of restaurants. Also how once he got the tourists off the trains and into his restaurants he was not through with them when they'd finished dessert. He wanted them to see his version of the Southwest and the Native people that lived there. Postcards and guide books were ready and waiting for his customers.

The guide book below dates from 1950 and is the 23rd edition. The first edition was published in 1917. No information is given about the illustrator, but it's similar in graphic style to so much of the work being done at the time for the Santa Fe Railroad posters. There are some wonderful photos inside, but I'm not willing to risk the binding to scan them. Occasionally this book comes up for auction on Ebay. It's a nice little book, but don't go paying much for it. The best part of it, for me, is really the cover.

Story of the Grand Canyon_tatteredandlost

And in my head I can now hear the opening notes to the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé. Time to just close my eyes and drift away.


  1. I LOVE The Harvey Girls! I wish I had been traveling on a train in those days! Do the restaurants still exist?

  2. Wonderful piece of ephemera and a great story to 'Go With'.

  3. I don't think there are any Harvey Houses left. I think, and I could be wrong, they ended in the 1960s. I don't recall seeing anything about them anymore in the Southwest. They're just part of the past now.