John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

  • Music:

Ten random things: July 22

Ten Fred Harvey dining rooms:

  1. Rogers, Arkansas
  2. Bagdad, California
  3. Dearborn Station, Chicago
  4. Arkansas City, Kansas
  5. Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri
  6. Antlers, Oklahoma
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Winslow, Arizona
  9. Trinidad, Colorado
  10. Las Vegas, Mew Mexico

He's not well remembered by the general public these days, but as recently as the 1950s Fred Harvey was one of the most respected names in the American hospitality industry. The eating houses, dining cars, and hotels he and the company he founded (also called Fred Harvey) ran for the Sante Fe railroad were America's first restaurant and hotel chains. His restaurants were renowned for their high quality, both in terms of food and of service. Fred Harvey (the company) also operated retail stores in train stations across the country, formed the nation's first bookstore chain, was a founding partner in the company that later became TWA, and was a prime mover behind the creation of the National Park Service and the establishment of the Grand Canyon as a national park. I know all this because I recently finished reading Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried, a fascinating history of both the man and his namesake. Definitely worth a read.

Tags: ar, az, ca, co, history, il, ks, lists of ten things, mo, nm, ok, reading: books, trains, tx
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