April 2017 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Fred Harvey Company from Wikapedia 

The Fred Harvey Company was the owner of the Harvey House chain of restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality industry businesses alongside railroads in the western United States. The company traces its origins to the 1875 opening of two railroad eating houses located at Wallace, Kansas and Hugo, Colorado on the Kansas Pacific Railway. These cafés were opened by Fred Harvey, then a freight agent for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. The café operation ended within a year, but Harvey had been convinced of the potential profits from providing a high quality food and service at railroad eating houses. His longtime employer, the Burlington Railroad, declined his offer of establishing a system-wide eating house operation at all railroad meal stops, but the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) subsequently contracted with Harvey for several eating houses on an experimental basis.

In 1878, Harvey started the first of his eating house-hotel establishments along the AT&SF tracks in Florence, Kansas. The rapid growth of the Harvey House chain soon followed.

Fred Harvey is credited with creating the first restaurant chain in the U.S. Harvey and his company also became leaders in promoting tourism in the American Southwest in the late 19th century. The company and its employees, including the famous waitresses who came to be known as Harvey Girls, successfully brought new higher standards of both civility and dining to a region widely regarded in the era as "the Wild West". The popularity of the Harvey Girls grew even stronger in 1946 when Judy Garland starred in the film version of Samuel Hopkins Adams’s novel The Harvey Girls.

Despite the decline of passenger train patronage in the U.S. in the 20th century with the advent of the automobile, the company survived and prospered, by marketing its services to the motoring public. After 1926, Harvey Cars were used in the provision of "Indian Detours" services offered from a number of Harvey hotel locations. The company continued to adjust to the trends. In the late 1950s it operated, for the first 15 years, the then-new landmark Illinois Tollway "Oases" which were built above the Interstate 294 highway in the Chicago suburbs by Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco).

The Fred Harvey legacy was continued in the family until the death of a grandson in 1965. Portions of the Fred Harvey Company have continued to operate since 1968 as part of a larger hospitality industry conglomerate.


Before the inclusion of dining cars in passenger trains became common practice, a rail passenger's only option for meal service in transit was to patronize one of the roadhouses often located near the railroad's water stops. Fare typically consisted of nothing more than rancid meat, cold beans, and week-old coffee. Such poor conditions understandably discouraged many Americans from making the journey westward.

The subsequent growth and development of the Fred Harvey Company was closely related to that of AT&SF. Under the terms of an oral agreement, Harvey opened his first depot restaurant in Topeka, Kansas in January 1876. Railroad officials and passengers alike were impressed with Fred Harvey's strict standards for high quality food and first class service. As a result, AT&SF entered into subsequent contracts with Harvey wherein he was given unlimited funds to set up a series of what were dubbed "eating houses" along most of the route. At more prominent locations, these eating houses evolved into hotels, many of which survive today. By the late 1880s, there was a Fred Harvey dining facility located every 100 miles along the AT&SF.

AT&SF agreed to convey fresh meat and produce free-of-charge to any Harvey House via its own private line of refrigerator cars, the Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch, and in them food was shipped

The Casa del Desierto
("House of the Desert")
located in Barstow, California, 
is seen here in 2006.
The Spanish-Moroccan designed structure
took two years to construct, and
opened its doors on February 22, 1911.
The building has been designated as a
California Historical Landmark, #892.

Cajon summit and the Santa Fe Railroad,
c. 1919. From a Fred Harvey Co. 
tourist brochure. 

 The Hotel Castañeda, Las Vegas,
New Mexico as seen in 2007.
An early mission revival style
Harvey House (1899)
and sister hotel to the Alvarado in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.

from every corner of the U.S. The company maintained two dairy facilities (the larger of the two was situated in Las Vegas, New Mexico) to ensure a consistent and adequate supply of fresh milk. When dining cars began to appear on trains, AT&SF contracted with the Fred Harvey Company to operate the food service on the diners, and all AT&SF advertising proclaimed "Fred Harvey Meals All the Way".

Harvey's meals were served in sumptuous portions that provided a good value for the traveling public; for instance, pies were cut into fourths, rather than sixths, which was the industry standard at the time. The Harvey Company and AT&SF established a series of signals that allowed the dining room staff to make the necessary preparations to feed an entire train in just thirty minutes. Harvey Houses served their meals on fine China and Irish linens. Fred Harvey, a fastidious innkeeper, set high standards for efficiency and cleanliness in his establishments, personally inspecting them as often as possible. It was said that nothing escaped his notice, and he was even known to completely overturn a poorly set table. Male customers were required to wear a coat and tie in many of Harvey's dining rooms. The Harvey Houses served many a meal to GIs traveling on troop trains during World War II.

This mutually beneficial relationship, characterized as one of the most successful and influential business partnerships in the early American West, endured until 1963.


For the Southwest, Harvey hired architects Charles Whittlesey and designer Mary Colter for influential landmark hotels in Santa Fe and Gallup, New Mexico. The Grand Canyon was the Santa Fe's main tourist destination and a major activity of the Harvey Company. Colter's rugged, landscape-integrated, and culturally appropriate design principles there influenced a generation of subsequent Western U.S. architecture through the National Park Service and Civilian Conservation Corps structures built during the Great Depression and after.

The Harvey team, with the backing of the Santa Fe, created an entire set of cultural images based on the region's distinctive, and often overlooked, artistic traditions of the Native American residents and the early Spanish settlers in the area. A pioneer in the field, Mary Colter designed a number of lobbies, restaurants, sales rooms, and other public spaces for the Santa Fe facilities. Especially noteworthy were Colter's buildings on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, including lodges, souvenirs shops, and special lookout points, today on the National Register of Historic Places.

A rare woman architect in her day, Colter came to design complete hotels along the Santa Fe's main route. She was the architect for the 1930 La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona, called "the last great railroad hotel built in America".

Colter's work with the Santa Fe, the National Park Service, and the Harvey Company blended Pueblo Revival, Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Rustic architectural styles along with Mexican carved-wood and hand-painted furnishings and Native American artistic motifs to help create a style widely popular in the American Southwest.

The last of her big projects was the Harvey House in the 1939 Los Angeles Union Station, dominated by a block-long recreation of a Navajo rug rendered in linoleum floor tile.

It has been suggested that the Harvey Houses originated the "blue-plate special", a daily low-priced complete meal served on a blue-patterned china plate; an 1892 Harvey menu mentions them, some thirty years before the term became widespread. In addition to the AT&SF, the Harvey Company operated dining facilities for the Gulf Coast & Santa Fe, Kansas Pacific, St. Louis-San Francisco, and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis railways.

AT&SF maintained and operated a fleet of three passenger ferry boats that connected the railroad with San Francisco by water. Ships traveled the eight miles between the San Francisco Ferry Terminal and the railroad's Point Richmond terminal across the Bay. The service was originally established as a continuation of the company's named passenger train runs such as the Angel and the Saint. The larger two ships, the San Pablo and the San Pedro, each featured a newsstand-lunch counter located on the main deck, and a dining room on the upper deck. Meals, sandwiches, sweet rolls, pastries, and coffee were served. AT&SF discontinued ferry service in 1933 due to the effects of the Great Depression.

Harvey Girls

In 1883, Harvey implemented a policy of employing a female, white-only serving staff. He sought single, well-mannered, and educated American ladies, and placed ads in newspapers throughout the East Coast and Midwest for "white, young women, 18-30 years of age, of good character, attractive and intelligent". The girls were paid $17.50 a month (approximately $450 in 2017 dollars) to start, plus room, board, and gratuity, a generous income by the standards of the time.

The women were subjected to a strict 10 p.m. curfew, administered by a senior Harvey Girl who assumed the role and responsibilities of house mother. The official starched black and white uniform (which was designed to diminish the female physique) consisted of a skirt that hung no more than eight inches off the floor, "Elsie" collars, opaque black stockings, and black shoes. The hair was restrained in a net and tied with a regulation white ribbon. Makeup of any sort was absolutely prohibited, as was chewing gum while on duty. Harvey Girls (as they soon came to be known) were required to enter into a one-year employment contract, and forfeited half their base pay should they fail to complete the term of service. Marriage was the most common reason for a girl to terminate her employment.

The restrictions maintained the clean-cut reputation of the Harvey Girls, and made them even more marriageable. However, the opportunity to leave their homes, to enjoy travel, have new experiences, and work outside the home was very liberating for thousands of young women. After the Harvey Houses closed in most cities, many former Girls (and today their daughters and granddaughters) joined in appreciation to carry on their legacy.

In a mythology that has grown around the Harvey Houses,[original research?] these female employees are said to have helped to "civilize the American Southwest". This legend found expression in The Harvey Girls, a 1942 novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams and in the 1946 MGM musical film of the same name which was inspired by it.

Dining car service

Harvey initially balked at the suggestion that in-transit dining facilities be added to all AT&SF trains operating west of Kansas City. Eventually, Harvey agreed to support the railroad in this endeavor, and the California Limited became the first AT&SF's name trains to feature Harvey Company meal service en route. Later trains, such as the vaunted Super Chief, included dining cars (staffed by Fred Harvey Company personnel) as part of the standard passenger car complement right from the outset.

A preserved "Harvey Girl" uniform

Judy Garland in a scene
from The Harvey Girls.

Selected Harvey Hotels

A list of some of the 84 Fred Harvey facilities:

    The Alvarado — Albuquerque, New Mexico; closed in 1969, demolished
    The Bisonte — Hutchinson, Kansas; closed in 1946
    The Casa del Desierto — Barstow, California; closed in 1959, refurbished 1999, operating as two museums and city offices
    The Hotel Castañeda — Las Vegas, New Mexico; closed in 1948, used in the 1984 film Red Dawn, purchased for restoration April 2014
    El Garces — Needles, California; closed in 1958, restored in 2014
    El Navajo — Gallup, New Mexico; demolished 1957
    El Ortiz — Lamy, New Mexico; closed in 1938
    El Otero — La Junta, Colorado; closed in 1948
    El Tovar — Grand Canyon, Arizona; still in operation
    El Vaquero — Dodge City, Kansas; closed in 1948
    The Havasu House — Seligman, Arizona; closed in 1955, demolished 2008
    The Escalante — Ash Fork, Arizona; closed in 1948, demolished in the 1970s
    The Fray Marcos — Williams, Arizona; the site is now The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, designed to resemble the century-old depot that
     housed the original Fray Marcos
    La Fonda — Santa Fe, New Mexico; acquired by the Santa Fe Railway, leased to Fred Harvey in 1925; in operation, different owners
    Las Chavez — Vaughn, New Mexico; closed in 1936
    La Posada — Winslow, Arizona; closed in 1957; restored and reopened as a historic hotel
    The Sequoyah — Syracuse, Kansas; closed in 1936
    The Slaton Harvey House — Slaton, Texas; opened in 1912, restaurant closed in 1942, remained train depot before closing, went into 
     disrepair and was to be demolished, was saved by a few locals, renovated, and reopened - currently in operation as an event center and bed 
     & breakfast
    Los Angeles Union Station Harvey House, soon to be restored as a gastropub

Separation from AT&SF

Beginning in the 1930s, the Fred Harvey Company began expanding into other locations beyond the reach of AT&SF, and often away from rail passenger routes. Restaurants were opened in such locations as the Chicago Union Station (the largest facility operated by Harvey), San Diego Union Station, the San Francisco Bus Terminal, and the Albuquerque International Airport; the last of these was established at the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal in 1939, and could accommodate nearly 300 diners.

From 1959 until 1975, the Fred Harvey organization operated a series of restaurants in the Illinois Tollway oasis, a set of highway rest stops built on bridges over the tollway. The original Fred Harvey company, as well as the company's close affiliation with AT&SF, lasted until 1968 when it was purchased by the Amfac Corporation of Hawaii. Amfac was renamed Xanterra Parks & Resorts in 2002. In 2006, Xanterra purchased the Grand Canyon Railway and its properties.

Mules from Wikapedia 

A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids (first generation hybrids) between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny, which is the offspring of a female donkey (jenny) and a male horse (stallion).

The size of a mule and work to which it is put depend largely on the breeding of the mule's female parent (dam). Mules can be lightweight, medium weight, or when produced from draft horse mares, of moderately heavy weight. Mules are more patient, hardy and long-lived than horses, and are less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys.


The mule is valued because, while it has the size and ground-covering ability of its dam, it is stronger than a horse of similar size and inherits the endurance and disposition of the donkey sire, tending to require less food than a horse of similar size. Mules also tend to be more independent than most domesticated equines other than the donkey.

The median weight range for a mule is between about 370 and 460 kg (820 and 1,000 lb). While a few mules can carry live weight up to 160 kg (353 lb), the superiority of the mule becomes apparent in their additional endurance.

In general, a mule can be packed with dead weight of up to 20% of its body weight, or approximately 90 kg (198 lb). Although it depends on the individual animal, it has been reported that mules trained by the Army of Pakistan can carry up to 72 kilograms (159 lb) and walk 26 kilometres (16.2 mi) without resting. The average equine in general can carry up to approximately 30% of its body weight in live weight, such as a rider.

A female mule that has estrus cycles and thus, in theory, could carry a fetus, is called a "molly" or "Molly mule", though the term is sometimes used to refer to female mules in general. Pregnancy is rare, but can occasionally occur naturally as well as through embryo transfer. A male mule is properly called a horse mule, though often called a john mule, which is the correct term for a gelded mule. A young male mule is called a mule colt, and a young female is called a mule filly.


With its short thick head, long ears, thin limbs, small narrow hooves, and short mane, the mule shares characteristics of a donkey. In height and body, shape of neck and rump, uniformity of coat, and teeth, it appears horse-like. The mule comes in all sizes, shapes and conformations. There are mules that resemble huge draft horses, sturdy quarter horses, fine-boned racing horses, shaggy ponies and more.

The mule is an example of hybrid vigor. Charles Darwin wrote: "The mule always appears to me a most surprising animal. That a hybrid should possess more reason, memory, obstinacy, social affection, powers of muscular endurance, and length of life, than either of its parents, seems to indicate that art has here outdone nature."

The mule inherits from its sire the traits of intelligence, sure-footedness, toughness, endurance, disposition, and natural cautiousness. From its dam it inherits speed, conformation, and agility. Mules exhibit a higher cognitive intelligence than their parent species. This is also believed to be the result of hybrid vigor, similar to how mules acquire greater height and endurance than either parent.

Handlers of working animals generally find mules preferable to horses: mules show more patience under the pressure of heavy weights, and their skin is harder and less sensitive than that of horses, rendering them more capable of resisting sun and rain. Their hooves are harder than horses', and they show a natural resistance to disease and insects. Many North American farmers with clay soil found mules superior as plow animals.

A mule does not sound exactly like a donkey or a horse. Instead, a mule makes a sound that is similar to a donkey's but also has the whinnying characteristics of a horse (often starts with a whinny, ends in a hee-haw). Mules sometimes whimper.

Color and size variety

Mules come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, from minis under 50 lb (23 kg) to maxis over 1,000 lb (454 kg), and in many different colors. The coats of mules come in the same varieties as those of horses. Common colors are sorrel, bay, black, and grey. Less common are white, roans (both blue and red), palomino, dun, and buckskin. Least common are paint mules or tobianos. Mules from Appaloosa mares produce wildly colored mules, much like their Appaloosa horse relatives, but with even wilder skewed colors. The Appaloosa color is produced by a complex of genes known as the Leopard complex (Lp). Mares homozygous for the Lp gene bred to any color donkey will produce a spotted mule.

Distribution and use

Mules historically were used by armies to transport supplies, occasionally as mobile firing platforms for smaller cannons, and to pull heavier field guns with wheels over mountainous trails such as in Afghanistan during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that China was the top market for mules in 2003, closely followed by Mexico and many Central and South American nations.


Mules and hinnies have 63 chromosomes, a mixture of the horse's 64 and the donkey's 62. The different structure and number usually prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules infertile.

There are no recorded cases of fertile mule stallions. A few mare mules have

A mule battery in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1879–1880).
Sepoys are sitting by the larger field guns.
 produced offspring when mated with a purebred horse or donkey. Herodotus gives an account of such an event as an ill omen of Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BC: "There happened also a portent of another kind while he was still at Sardis,—a mule brought forth young and gave birth to a mule", and a mule's giving birth was a frequently recorded portent in antiquity, although scientific writers also doubted whether the thing was really possible.

As of October 2002, there had been only 60 documented cases of mules birthing foals since 1527. In China in 2001, a mare mule produced a filly. In Morocco in early 2002 and Colorado in 2007, mare mules produced colts. Blood and hair samples from the Colorado birth verified that the mother was indeed a mule and the foal was indeed her offspring.

A 1939 article in the Journal of Heredity describes two offspring of a fertile mare mule named "Old Bec", which was owned at the time by the A&M College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in the late 1920s. One of the foals was a female, sired by a jack. Unlike its mother, it was sterile. The other, sired by a five-gaited Saddlebred stallion, exhibited no characteristics of any donkey. That horse, a stallion, was bred to several mares, which gave birth to live foals that showed no characteristics of the donkey.

Modern mules

In the second half of the 20th century, widespread usage of mules declined in industrialized countries. The use of mules for farming and transportation of agricultural products largely gave way to modern tractors and trucks. However, in the United States, a dedicated number of mule breeders continued the tradition as a hobby and continued breeding the great lines of American Mammoth Jacks started in the United States by George Washington with the gift from the King of Spain of two Zamorano-Leonés donkeys. These hobby breeders began to utilize better mares for mule production until today's modern saddle mule emerged. Exhibition shows where mules pulled heavy loads have now been joined with mules competing in Western and English pleasure riding, as well as dressage and show jumping competition. There is now a cable TV show dedicated to the training of donkeys and mules. Mules, once snubbed at traditional horse shows, have been accepted for competition at the most exclusive horse shows in the world in all disciplines.

Mules are still used extensively to transport cargo in rugged roadless regions, such as the large wilderness areas of California's Sierra Nevada mountains or the Pasayten Wilderness of northern Washington state. Commercial pack mules are used recreationally, such as to supply mountaineering base camps, and also to supply trail building and maintenance crews, and backcountry footbridge building crews. As of July 2014, there are at least sixteen commercial mule pack stations in business in the Sierra Nevada. The Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club has a Mule Pack Section that organizes hiking trips with supplies carried by mules.

Amish farmers, who reject tractors and most other modern technology for religious reasons, commonly use teams of six or eight mules to pull plows, disk harrows, and other farm equipment, though they use horses for pulling buggies on the road.

A British mule train during the
Second Anglo-Boer War, South Africa
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the United States used large numbers of mules to carry weapons and supplies over Afghanistan's rugged terrain to the mujahideen. Use of mules by U.S. forces has continued during the War in Afghanistan (2001-present), and the United States Marine Corps has conducted an 11-day Animal Packers Course since the 1960s at its Mountain Warfare Training Center located in the Sierra Nevada near Bridgeport, California.

Mule train 

A mule train is a connected or unconnected line of pack mules, usually carrying cargo. Because of the mule's ability to carry as much as a horse, their trait of being sure footed along with their tolerance of poorer coarser foods and abilities to tolerate arid terrains, mule trains were common caravan organized means of animal powered bulk transport back into pre-classical times. In many climate and circumstantial instances, an equivalent string of pack horses would have to carry more fodder and sacks of high energy grains such as oats, so could carry less cargo. In modern times, strings of sure footed mules have been used to carry riders in dangerous but scenic back country terrain such as excursions into canyons.

Pack trains were instrumental in opening up the American West as the sure footed animals could carry up to 250 pounds, survive on rough forage, did not require feed, and could operate in the arid higher elevations of the Rockies, serving as the main cargo means to the west from Missouri during the heyday of the North American fur trade. Their use antedated the move west into the Rockies as colonial Americans sent out the first fur trappers and explorers past the Appalachians who were then followed west by high-risk-taking settlers by the 1750s (such as Daniel Boone) who led an increasing flood of emigrants that began pushing west over the into southern New York, and through the gaps of the Allegheny into the Ohio Country (the lands of western Province of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania), into Tennessee and Kentucky before and especially after the American Revolution.

Mule trains have been used as working (as opposed to tourist attractions) portions of transportation links as recently as 2005 by the World Food Programme.
In the nineteenth century, twenty-mule teams, for instance, were teams of eighteen mules and two horses attached to large wagons that ferried borax out of Death Valley from 1883 to 1889. The wagons were among the largest ever pulled by draft animals, designed to carry 10 short tons (9 metric tons) of borax ore at a time.

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