Harvey Girls, and their amazing careers

I went searching Amazon books this morning and found an interesting box set. Harvey House Complete Series Books 1 – 12. It’s priced at $1.32 with 1345 pages and that is a good deal. Especially if the subject of Harvey House is new to you, it’s an easy way to get them all at once.

Harvey house boxed set 1 to 21

Through the years, I’ve happily read some of the books in this series and still remember the impact of these amazing pioneering stories. Each unique book is set in a different city of the vast Harvey House empire.

Fred Harvey had a vision to improve the travelling experience at a time when it was still very primitive and in some cases, appalling. He wanted consistency of experience from city to city, healthy/appealing food served in a timely fashion, with courteous and respectful service. It started out with his restaurants connected to railway stations. As things grew and demand became apparent, his vision enlarged to add luxury hotels in the same locations.

He was inspired to take the unheard of step of hiring young ladies after having to deal with fights and brawls involving his male staff. Hiring women proved to be a successful solution with far less drama.

At the time it was socially unacceptable for young women to take on such roles. He defied societies opinions and it became a liberating experience for women at a time when they had no rights of their own. Any property or wages they might own became the possession of their husbands and other male relatives.

Many women went on to establish previously unheard of careers. Fred Harvey’s attention to detail and excellence, provided an enviable resume and his girls were highly respected.

My journey this morning with the Harvey House series actually started with the discovery of Harvey House  A Love So Legendary  Ellen Anderson with Katie Wyatt.

And it’s free today,

Harvey House book 1

I wasn’t sure, I was thinking this was book 1 –  the first story. I started reading, and it turns out, it tells the history of Fred Harvey and how it all began for him.

It’s an incredible story of opening up the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The resulting safe opportunities for women provided the chance for them to be viewed by society as valuable and capable human beings. His impact on the status of women is immeasurable. His impact on the service industry, revolutionary.


And then, one more free book discovered this morning. On the lighter side I think, maybe.

At Your Request

At Your Request – Jen Turano …. Historical Romance.

I’ve read and enjoyed this author before and I’m looking forward to reading this novella. It’s about a young woman’s tenuous connection to high society relationships despite the change in her social status due to the loss of family wealth.

Happy Reading!

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