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Fred Harvey System

Creator: Fred Harvey (Firm)

Date: [ca. 1916]-2014

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Manuscripts Collection 99

Unit ID: 40099

Abstract: The paper records (1 ft. [3 boxes]) consist of copies of the employee newsletter, Fred Harvey hospitality, for the years 1949-1970; a scrapbook on Fred Harvey Company news, executives and employees, 1965-1970; correspondence from descendants of Fred Harvey to Joan George; other materials kept by Ms. George during the middle of the 20th century; and miscellaneous clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, & similar materials regarding the Fred Harvey Company. The microfilm (4080 rolls) includes a variety of financial records: remittances, cash records, shipments made & received, invoices, tracking debits & credits, government meal tickets (such as for branches of the military), payroll records & time trip reports, accident reports, and similar records, 1937-1970 (bulk 1938-1970). Also contains newspaper article published in the Albuquerque journal, 2014 Feb. 16, about Allan Affeldt and the revival of Fred Harvey's La Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas, N.M.

Space Required/Quantity: 52 cubic ft. (54 boxes).

Title (Main title): Fred Harvey System

Titles (Other):

  • Harvey (Fred) System collection
  • Printed materials
  • Fred Harvey System collection
  • Fred Harvey records
  • Fred Harvey hospitality

Administrative History

Administrative History:

In 1850 Englishman Fred Harvey emigrated to America at the age of fifteen. He worked in a variety of occupations as dishwasher, merchant, jeweler, postal clerk and agent for the Burlington Railroad. As as agent, he traveled extensively through Kansas and Missouri. What passed for meals at stations disgusted him. Dirty dining halls served terrible food at exorbitant prices.

Fred Harvey knew that improvements were possible. He tried, unsuccessfully, to interest his employer, the Burlington, in operating restaurants for them. But Burlington suggested he contact the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the fastest growing railroad in the West.

In the spring of 1876, Fred Harvey took over the restaurant at the Santa Fe depot in Topeka. Customers were amazed to find linen and silverware, excellent food and reasonable prices. In 1877 Harvey purchased the hotel in Peabody, Marion County, realizing a dream of pampering travelers with fine food and accommodations. In 1881 Harvey replaced all-male staffs with his famous "Harvey Girls." They were renowned for their good looks, fine manners and efficiency. Seven years after operating his restaurant in Topeka, Harvey operated 17 restaurants along Santa Fe's main line, opening the first series of chain restaurants. By 1901, when Harvey died, his empire included forty-five restaurants and twenty dining cars in twelve states.

The Fred Harvey Company continued its close affiliation with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company until 1968, and continues to operate as a business as Xanterra Parks and Resorts in the Grand Canyon region.

Scope and Content

Contents: Box 1. Hospitality: 1949-1964 -- box 2. Hospitality: 1965-1970 ; scrapbooks kept by Joan George, 1965-1970 -- box 3. Clippings ; correspondence ; memorabilia ; misc. -- boxes 4-54. Financial records, 1937-1970 (bulk 1938-1970).

Specific Contents Identified:

Headings or descriptors assigned to subsections of the material, for example labels on a particular box or group of boxes.

  • Financial records on microfilm, c1938-1970
  • Remainder of collection (paper)

Related Records or Collections

Associated materials: Most Fred Harvey Company records are located at various institutions in Arizona, including the Harold S. Colton Memorial and Research Library, Museum of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff); Cline Library, University of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff); and the Heard Museum (Phoenix).

Other Finding Aid/Index: Financial records (microfilm): Card index (67 ft. [67 boxes]), microfilm roll lists, and other finding aids created by Fred Harvey available at the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka).


Finding Aid Bibliography:

Kansas State Historical Society. "Fred Harvey: A Kansas Portrait." http://www.kshs.org/portraits/harvey_fred.htm (accessed 24 September 2009).

Xanterra Parks and Resorts. "Fred Harvey Trading Company." http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/gift-and-souvenirs-720.html (accessed 24 September 2009).

Index Terms


    Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
    Fred Harvey (Firm) -- Accounting
    Fred Harvey (Firm) -- Employees
    Fred Harvey (Firm) -- Publishing
    Newsletters -- United States
    United States
    Harvey, Fred
    Hotels -- United States
    Railroad stations -- Food service -- United States
    Railroads -- United States -- Dining-car service
    Fred Harvey hospitality

Creators and Contributors

Additional Information for Researchers

Use and reproduction: Information on copyright available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka).

Ownership/Custodial Hist.:

Index cards originally in 21 boxes.

Microfilm acquired by the donor from Daggett Harvey, Jr., who received it from Amfac, Inc.

Add'l physical form: Financial records: Microfilm. Chicago, Ill. : Fred Harvey Company, [1945-ca 1971]; 4080 microfilm reels in 46 cu. ft. boxes : negative ; 16 mm. + 67 ft. of cards (67 card boxes) in 5 cu. ft. boxes; available for research.