{Twitterature} The Harvey Girls Edition

Joining with Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s monthly Twitterature link-up of short reviews of current reads.

I’m not sure what piqued our interest in the Harvey Girls at our house.  Let’s just call it the joys of homeschooling, that we can explore interests in-depth when something strikes our fancy.  I have to say it’s mostly the younger teen and me who are interested in the subject.  The 11-year-old son does not have the same obsession.

The “Harvey Girls” were waitresses (but much more than that) in Fred Harvey’s 19th and early 20th century empire of railroad-stop restaurant/hotels.  Businessman Fred Harvey made a fortune serving fresh and wholesome food efficiently with well-trained staff, to railroad travelers, at a time when none of that was  common.

So we’ve been reading an assortment of books about the Harvey Girls.

The Harvey Girls: Women Who Civilized the West by Juddi Morris s ideal for middle-grade on up readers.  It’s a wonderful mix of oral history, short chapters and charming photographs and vignettes.

When Molly Was a Harvey Girl by Frances M. Wood. This middle-grade novel is based on the experiences of Wood’s great-grandmother as a Harvey girl, and tells the story of two sisters who work as Harvey girls in New Mexico.    I kind of sped-read it, but both my teens enjoyed it.

Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Build a Railroad Hospitality Empire that Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried.  This is adult non-fiction, and it’s really well-done.  Much more extensive than the juvenile books.

I took notes on this book, and even made an edit of “Fundamentals” that was posted in Fred Harvey restaurants and shops for staff to follow.

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I’m not a great creator of edits yet, but I’m honing my skills, and I enjoy it. Next time I’ll work on making the text bigger–I had a lot of trouble with that in this because there is so much text.  I’m sure there’s a way to do it.  Practice makes, if not perfect, then better.

We also DVRd the 1946 movie The Harvey Girls, with Judy Garland.


The Harvey Girls seemed to me a lot like Seven Brides for Seven Brothersin both music and choreography.  Turns out the lyricist was a  the same for both films.  It was a fun Saturday evening watch.

What are you reading?

5 thoughts on “{Twitterature} The Harvey Girls Edition”

  1. I saw a great exhibit on the Harvey Girls a few years ago at the Smithsonian. I don’t know if it is still there.

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