Can you remember how you felt when you left home for the first time? A sense of adventure? The thrill of freedom? In the early 1900s Fred Harvey offered many women such exciting opportunities through work in his growing hotel/restaurant chain.
Fred Harvey was a restauranter turned railroad man based in the Midwest. He frequently traveled by rail for his work and was dissatisfied with the service he found along the way. He began a restaurant and hospitality chain to change this pattern. Harvey envisioned his restaurants as the most refined restaurants in the American West. The rowdiness of his male wait staff created a problem. To help him succeed, he hired independent, hard-working young women instead. Newspaper ads offered well-bred ladies a fair wage, steady work, uniform, a place to live, and a ticket to ride! The thousands that answered came to be known as "Harvey Girls" and could be found at the many Harvey Houses along the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.