HARVEY HOUSE RESTAURANT
Fred Harvey came to this country from London at 16, went to work
in restaurants from New York to New Orleans. Later, as a railroad
employee he came to recognize how miserable trackside food and
lodging usually were. In 1876, he opened his first Harvey House
restaurant in the Topeka, Kan., depot and the first Harvey
House lodging facility at Florence, Kan.
His idea was simple enough. The traveler deserved, and was willing
to pay for, decent accommodations and good food, served in pleasant,
spotlessly clean surroundings, on Irish linen with English china,
crystal and silver, by well-trained and attractive personnel. He was
right. Harvey died in 1901. But his organization carried on. In the
1950's, the Fred Harvey organization was the country's largest
restaurant chain. At its peak it had 6,000 employees, 55 restaurants,
and serviced as many as 100 dining cars.
The Hugo Frisco Depot Museum contains a restore Harvey House Restaurant.
The restoration began in 1978 as the first step in the restoration of
the entire depot. After completion, it was open and operated as a
Harvey House Restaurant for several years by the Choctaw County
Historical Society. Later two baggage room adjacent to the restaurant
were refurbished as dining rooms and the entire complex is now leased as
a full service restaurant.
Harvey House Restaurant & (modern) Harvey Girls