Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fred Harvey [1941]

From our collection, a postcard mailed in 1941 showing the locations of Santa Fe Hotels and Dining Stations under management of Fred Harvey. These cards could be purchased at Dining Stations along the railway and mailed home. By marking the red circle you could show family or friends your location. This particular card was mailed in Winslow, Arizona, which does have a red circle on the map, but the sender did not mark it.

The following is from Wikikpedia ...

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.

Possible history on this card ... Mailed from son to mother as he departed for duty, WW II, just about 3 weeks after the date that will "live in infamy" ... December 7, 1941.  On December 8, 1941, the United States Congress declared war upon the Empire of Japan in response to that country's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor the prior day.

Read more about Fred Harvey here.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. Thinking about that young son gone to war. Wonder what happened to him? Very interesting, John. Thanks! :-)

  2. John, what a great card with so much history. I'm like DJan, wondering what happened to the writer. Maybe he made the entire trip by train to get to his destination for a Fort assignment. So happy you shared this one with us.

  3. A story behind a postcard is sometimes so surprising and interesting! Thanks John and I wish you a good Saterday.

  4. poignant dates. i cannot imagine the son or the mother's thoughts...

  5. A quick way to let Mom know he was okay!

  6. I'm always amazed art how much history you can drag out of one postcard.

  7. Oh the story and the art. Interesting. I agree with the readers. One wonders when things happen. A Mothers thoughts.


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