Slaton Harvey House
The Harvey House is a 1912 restaurant that served railroad passengers passing through Slaton from 1912-1942. It is the last remaining structure from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Slaton Division Point, and was saved from the wrecking ball at the last minute by quick action from Slaton residents and officials when the demolition crew showed up.
The chain of Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe Railway route was the brainchild of English immigrant Fred Harvey, a restauranteur who observed the deplorable dining opportunities while traveling on American railroads.
The Santa Fe partnered with Mr. Harvey, building his restaurants and allowing him space on the trains. Mr. Harvey operated the restaurants and developed a notional supply line of food for his chain of nearly 100 restaurants that dotted the railroad’s routes from Chicago to San Francisco, and Galveston to Los Angeles.
The Slaton Harvey House is a grand, two-story Mission revival structure designed by Santa Fe architect Louis Curtiss.
In time, the Santa Fe began operating dining cars on their trains, elimination the need for Harvey Houses, except in the larger terminals. After the Fred Harvey Operations ceased tin Slaton, the Santa Fe turned the building into a passenger and freight Depot, along with business offices. It was boarded up in the 1980’s and was saved in 1989.
More than two million dollars were raised to restore Slaton’s iconic building. It is owned and operated by the volunteer Slaton Railroad Heritage Association, a 501 (c) (3) non- profit organization.
During the passenger train boom, there were eighteen total Harvey House operations in Texas. Slaton’s is one of only six that were not torn down, and is the only Texas Harvey House where visitors can stay overnight where the Harvey Girls once slept in between shifts. It serves the community as a Fred Harvey & Santa Fe Railroad Museum, Bed & Breakfast inn and Events Center.
For more information, please contact:
Slaton Railroad Heritage Association
400 Railroad Ave.
Slaton, TX 79364