Calling Harvey Girls or descendants to St. Louis Sept. 13

News feed reminders often bring railroad news to me. If you have heard any of my various lectures on railroad employees and finding records, you know it includes discussion of the Harvey Girls as an example of workers related to the railroad industry, but who didn’t work directly for a railroad.

A September 13, 2019 celebration at the St. Louis, Missouri Union Station includes a tribute to Fred Harvey and his railroad-related businesses.

“All aboard! Calling all Harvey Girls & Harvey workers or their descendants, and St. Louis railroad history fans. You’re invited to this free reception to celebrate the Fred Harvey heritage at St. Louis Union Station as part of the station’s 125th anniversary celebrations . . . If you are a Harvey Girl or a Harvey Girl descendant who will be attending, send a note to us at harveygirl@insightrocks.com so we can welcome you!”

Read more details here or here.

If I didn’t already have a couple extra busy weeks in September, I might have attended!

© 2019, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

6 comments on “Calling Harvey Girls or descendants to St. Louis Sept. 13

  1. Good evening,

    The following is part of our RAWLINS BUILDING project —-

    As part of an overall revival of the Las Vegas Railroad District, the Rawlins Building is a historic structure and is being renovated and restored. The anticipated date of completion is Spring 2020.

    It was built in 1898-99 by William W. Rawlins. His name is proudly displayed at the top of the building.

    Based on 1860 England census records, Rawlins was born in Middlesex, England in November 1846. In 1867, at the age of 21, he immigrated to the United States – just after the United States Civil War. His parents were William W. and Emma Rawlins (born approximately in 1810 and 1814).

    The local newspaper the Optic placed Rawlins in Las Vegas as early as November 3, 1880. Rawlins was a saloon keeper in the 1880-1890’s. A November 27, 1881, article in the Las Vegas Gazette, provided, “The National Saloon on the south side of the plaza, was sold yesterday to W.W. Rawlins and A. Kelly, who will take charge about December 1st.” He also operated the Antlers saloon on the southwest corner of 6th Street and Douglas Ave. He was married to Josephine, who was from the State of Louisiana, and they had one daughter, Pearl Mary. She married Joseph Shannon Rhodes. On August 9, 1903, William Rawlins died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His wife, Josephine, died years later in 1913. Both are buried in a non-descript grave site in the Masonic Cemetery in West Las Vegas.

    The Rawlins has a Mesker metal façade on the second floor which is a unique feature in New Mexico. In its early years it was a boarding facility and served as living quarters for the Harvey Girls who worked at the Castañeda Hotel.

    In 1949 Eisabel and Matilde Peña purchased the building and operated the Peña Rooming House. It was last occupied in the mid to late 1970’s. The building is on the register of the National and State Historic Properties List. The plan is to restore the commercial space on the first floor and establish apartments on the second floor.

    The Rawlins is in the Historic Railroad District of Las Vegas and is directly across the street from the Castañeda Hotel which was also built in 1898. The Castañeda was recently purchased, restored and reopened. In the recent years there has been an increased interest in the Harvey Hotels and the Harvey Girls and how they provided quality food service for the travelling public throughout the Southwest in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

    The Harvey Girls roomed at the Rawlins Building as they worked at the Castaneda. There were fourteen (14) different rooms and one (1) washroom/bathroom for all the tenants.

    The Rawlins is being converted to five (5) apartments upstairs and two (2) commercial spaces downstairs.

    We are looking for information on and family of the Harvey Girls and any photos as well.

    Thank you.

  2. Hi,
    We are restoring the Rawlins Building in Las Vegas, NM. It was the building that housed the Harvey Girls of the Castaneda Hotel.
    We are trying to identify Harvey Girls who lived there.
    We are planning on naming the 5 apartments after Havery Girls.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Tom/Tina Clayton

  3. A very enjoyable novel about a Harvey Girl is “One of Fred’s Girls” by Elisabeth Hamilton Friermood, which I read when I was a teenage.

  4. I saw a documentary not too long ago about the HARVEY GIRLS. Interesting piece of railroad history! GREAT CONCEPT FOR A REUNION!

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