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About Fred Harvey & the Iconic Harvey Girls

Fred Harvey (1835 - 1901) was born in England and came to America at the age of fifteen. As soon as Harvey arrived, he got a job in a restaurant and started as a dishwasher. He learned the business from the ground up and in 1876 began a partnership with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. He was given exclusive rights to operate the lunchrooms, eating houses and hotels along the railway's routes. His attention to detail, quality and customer service changed the country's rail travel industry. 

The iconic Harvey Girls were famous for high standards and good customer service. Single women were hired and sent to Vaughn, New Mexico, for a one month training class. After training, the women were sent to their assignments. In most cases, they lived in dorm rooms above the restaurants where they worked. Harvey Girls were closely chaperoned and dating was discouraged. 

A day in the life of a Harvey Girl included working split shifts, making fresh coffee, cleaning and setting the silver service on fine linen table cloths. At the start of each shift,  the women had daily inspections to insure they were not wearing  makeup and that their uniforms were spotless before starting the work day. The average salary was around $17.50 a month, with free room & board, clean uniforms and tips. 

Meet Jim Sloan and discover
Belen's history through his
postcard collection.

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Click Card for Jim's Postcard Exhibit!

Click on Eva's Scrapbook & Relive the
History of a Former Belen Harvey Girl!

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Meet Eva Fuqua!

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Click on Pearl's Camera for...
"Little Girl with Camera"

Susanna Gilbert grew up in Belen, New Mexico. She was an Amtrak traveler going back and forth between Washington DC and Albuquerque. As a volunteer at the Belen Harvey House Museum she hears the rumbling freight cars as they pass close by the Belen Harvey House Museum. Susanna doesn't attempt to crack the code of the secret language or find a meaning in the graffiti.

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Special hours so call first 505-861-0581

We're Open!

104 N. First St.

Belen, NM  87002  

Wednesday through Saturday

Guided Museum Tours

Last tour of the day at 4:00 PM!

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Our current Museum brochure

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Physical Address:

104 N 1st Street

Belén, NM 87002

Mailing Address:

333 Becker Avenue

Belén, NM  87002

(505) 861-0581

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We're Open!

104 N. First St.

Belen, NM  87002  

Wednesday through Saturday

Guided Tours all day

Last entry to the Museum is at 4:00 PM. 

Entry fee is just a $5.00 per guest donation! 

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