Fred Harvey House and Museum
In an era when travelers had few dining options beyond railroad depots that offered notoriously bad and overpriced dare, Fred Harvey created a restaurant that served travelers quickly and efficiently. His methods were soon repeated at depots along the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad--effectively creating the first restaurant chain in America. The Harvey House restaurants helped to convince travelers to choose the ATSF rail line above others, and also provided viable employment for many cooks and servers, known affectionately at that time as "Harvey Girls." This stately rim rock building was constructed in 1869 and was purchased by Fred Harvey in 1883. The home stayed in the family until 1944, when Harvey's heirs donated the property to Cushing Hospital for use as a dormitory for its nursing school. City leaders and preservationists are working to restore the residence and convert it into a museum. In the meantime, volunteers will happily offer private tours of the building and share their progress and vision for the museum.
Backstory and Context