Fred Harvey: Helping New Mexico grow during the railroad era

Legendary New Mexico

The 19th Century entrepreneur Fred Harvey is arguably the father of the hospitality industry in New Mexico.

Catering to the growing railroad industry, his company set up numerous holes and restaurants throughout the state. 

Fred Harvey, known as the civilizer of the west, was not just an entrepreneur but also someone credited with how modern restaurants and hotels conduct business to this very day.

At the height of the railroad era, the Fred Harvey company was responsible for lodging and dining along the major railways throughout the west.

At one point, there were 84 Harvey facilities across the United States from Illinois to California. Fourteen of them were located in New Mexico bring with them big tourism dollars and even establishing towns at the same time. 

Fred Harvey is not only known for his successful business model, but a pioneer when it came to employing women at a time when that was not the norm.

The business model itself was amazing, but even more so, were the physical buildings tied to the facilities.

Fred Harvey buildings like the Hotel Castaneda in Las Vegas, which survived are now experiencing a rebirth thanks to owners like Allan Affeldt.

Other landmark Harvey locations like the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque weren’t so lucky. The building was demolished in 1970. 

One of the last surviving and still operational facilities is La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe.

However, major cities were not the only spots Harvey picked throughout New Mexico. Other spots included Belen, Clovis, Deming, Gallup, Lamy, Las Cruces, Raton, San Marcial and Vaughn.

You can learn more about the Harvey Houses at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe and their long-term exhibition called “Setting the Standard.” Click here for more information. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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