Harvey Girls and Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (1869–1958)
(SIDE 1) In 1883, the Fred Harvey Company hired women to serve in its diners and hotels along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Thousands of respectable, intelligent women were recruited from the Midwest and East Coast to come west. Known as Harvey Girls, many of these women stayed and became founding members of their adopted communities, forever changing the cultural landscape of the Wild West.
(SIDE 2) In 1902, the Fred Harvey Company hired Mary Colter as interior designer of the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque. She was an architect for the company when few women worked in the field. She designed many famous resorts and inns, including the hotel interiors of La Fonda in Santa Fe. In 1987, four of her buildings in Grand Canyon National Park were designated a National Historic Landmark.
We have several videos related to the Harvey Girls and Mary Colter in our Fred Harvey Company video playlist on YouTube.
Roadside Marker Location: Bernalillo County, Albuquerque, 1st St and Gold Ave
You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.
You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at www.nmhistoricwomen.org
March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division