Who is Fred Harvey?
Fredrick Henry Harvey was born on June 27th, 1835 in London, England. Harvey moved to New York City in 1853 to start a new life. He worked as a pot scrubber and busboy at Smith and McNell's Restaurant. He eventually moved up to a waiter and finally a line cook. He learned the restaurant business inside and out. He also worked as a freight agent, traveling throughout the Great Plains. He traveled on trains, as most people did at that time. Everyone had to bring their own food when they traveled by train because if you were even lucky enough to find some food available somewhere, the quality was extremely poor. Having lived with this problem for far too long, Fred Harvey made an agreement with the Santa Fe railroad in 1876 to open an eatery in Topeka, Kansas. Travelers were very happy to eat in a clean room with very well prepared meals. It became so popular that Harvey eventually opened 47 Harvey House eateries, 30 Dining cars and 15 Hotels. There was a Fred Harvey eatery every 100 miles along the Santa Fe line. Fred Harvey died in Leavenworth, Kansas, February 9, 1901.
Come to The Fred Harvey Museum to learn more about his exciting life.