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Corrales Historical Society Speakers Series – “The Golden Era of the Belen Harvey House”
February 23 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public
A presentation of the Corrales Historical Society 2020 Speaker Series
On February 23, at 2pm, at the Old Church in Corrales, Marty Henderson will bring the history of Belén’s Harvey House to life. It was just one of Fred Harvey’s 84 establishments throughout the Southwest, the first restaurant chain in America. Belén’s Harvey House operated from 1910 to 1939 with a horseshoe-shaped marble lunch counter and a first-class dining room. The Harvey Girls lived upstairs, as did the dorm mother and the office manager and his wife. In the 1940s, it briefly reopened during World War II, with many Harvey Girls coming out of retirement to serve troop trains. In the 1950s, it became the Santa Fe Reading Room for railroad employees, serving as a break room and dormitory through the 1970s.
Boarded up and ready for demolition, a campaign by Belén citizens saved it. In 1982, the Santa Fe Railroad donated the building to the city and restoration began. Ultimately, the building was devoted to the Harvey House Museum, which features a strong collection of railroad and Belén historical artifacts and information. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The architecture is Mission/Spanish Revival. It is located at 104 N. 1st St. in Belén.
Marty Henderson is the lead docent at the Belén Harvey House Museum and serves as education coordinator and president of the Friends of the Belén Harvey House. For these roles, Marty has received numerous accolades and awards for dedication and service. Marty’s lifelong fascination with the Southwest brought her to New Mexico 29 years ago. She is a collector of fine antiques, including Fred Harvey memorabilia.