View from Escalante Hotel


Unknown Unknown buh7042pf.jpg BU-H-7042 Sepia 1404-7042-0006 buh7042pf Print 8x10 Historic Photographs 1910s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


The original Harvey House in Ash Fork, a wooden structure that had opened in 1895, burned to the ground in a fire that started in the restaurant's kitchen on June 17, 1905. A new, more impressive Harvey House was built at a cost of $115,000 and named after yet another Spanish explorer, Francisco Silvestre Velez Escalante, a Franciscan missionary who traveled through the Southwest in 1776. The Escalante boasted 23 guest rooms as well as seating for 62 at its lunchroom and 120 more customers in its dining room.

Like many large Harvey Houses, the elegant Escalante included not only a lunchroom, a dining room, and a hotel, but also a newsstand, a curio shop (featuring Native American arts and crafts), and a barber shop. The grounds were well landscaped with fountains, flowers, and an extensive cactus garden on the hotel's east side. Despite its interior and exterior beauty, the Escalnate was the scene of domestic turmoil soon after it opened in 1905. According to historian Marshall Trimble, a distraught woman brandished a revolver and chased her husband trrough the hotel for over and hour before a local deputy disarmed her "in as gentlmanly way as possible."

Source: Melzer, Richard. Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008.


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