Founded by British emigrant Fred Harvey (June 27, 1835 – February 9, 1901) The Fred Harvey Company was a hospitality chain operating branded restaurants conveniently located (rent-free) along the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe line. The first Harvey House was opened in Topeka in 1876, and its success led to the opening of more Harvey Houses down the AT&SF line, who considered the presence of the Harvey Houses a welcome promotional expense. Through the 1930s, the AT&SF funded Harvey ventures throughout Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, ranging from lunch counters to railway newsstands to luxury hotels. Fred’s son Ford took over the chain on Fred’s death in 1901. Ford, an enthusiast of the southwest, would further incorporate the arts and culture of North American Indians living near the Harvey hotels and restaurants, to attract more travelers to New Mexico and Arizona. They established the Fred Harvey Indian Department in 1901, controversially hiring Indian artist-demonstrators to weave blankets and make pottery and jewelry in an annex of the grand Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company continued until 1965.

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