Posted on

Harvey House Style Jewelry

There is a great story behind the Harvey House Style Jewelry.

As the railroads pushed west in the late 1800’s, there was a demand for more services for the comfort of passengers.  Enter entrepreneur Fred Harvey.  The Fred Harvey Company established a business relationship with the Santa Fe Railway as it built tracks from Kansas City to Dodge City to Santa Fe to Albuquerque and eventually The Grand Canyon and all the way to Los Angeles.  Harvey opened his first depot restaurant in Topeka, Kansas in 1876.   By the 1880’s he had contracts that enabled him to set up a series of restaurants known as Harvey Houses every 100 miles along the Santa Fe Railway’s transcontinental route.  Some evolved into Hotels.  These establishments enabled passengers to get off the train and eat quality food served with the high standards Fred Harvey required.  Harvey Houses were a far cry from the stark and exhausting train ride endured by travelers in the beginning days of train travel west.

Fred Harvey and the Santa Fe Railway engaged in a master marketing campaign targeting the natural landscapes and cultural experiences that awaited visitors to the Southwest.  The Grand Canyon was the crown jewel of these trips.  The railroad built a spur from Williams, Arizona (on the main line of the Santa Fe Railway) to the canyon’s south rim in 1901.  The Harvey House grand El Tovar Hotel, which sits right on the rim, opened in 1905.  Other tourist related facilities opened soon after.

The Santa Fe Railway also partnered with Fred Harvey to expand its passenger adventures deeper into Pueblo Indian Country with a railroad spur to Santa Fe (North America’s first capital city).  The La Fonda Hotel was built by Harvey at the end of the Santa Fe Trail just off the Plaza.  Tourists visited the culturally rich area in “Harveycars” on what were called “Indian-Detour Trips”.  Pueblos, old Spanish settlements and the rich history of the city of Santa Fe were explored.

Harvey employed and showcased many Indians and their artwork at his hotels.  Two of the most famous locations were the Fred Harvey Indian Building adjoining The Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque and Hopi House at the Grand Canyon next to El Tovar.  Only Hopi House still stands.  Harvey had Native demonstrations of weaving, pottery making and other art forms not only to educate tourists by also to entice them to buy curios made by Indians.

Harvey House Style Jewelry, made by Indians, featured thunderbirds, arrows, Turquoise stones and other designs that were encouraged by Fred Harvey as being “what the tourists wanted”.  A whole industry grew up around the Harvey House experience of travelers to the Southwest.  Today, Harvey House Style Jewelry of the early to mid-1900’s has become very collectible.  I hope you will enjoy the selection we have in stock.

View Collection

Favour, Charlie
Hodgins, L. Bruce