Down at the bottom of a very steep hill runs main street Florence and at 234 Marion St. stands the old, but historic Harvey House Hotel . Fred Harvey opened one of his fine restaurants here in 1876 to provide elegant meals to Santa Fe passengers. Even more notable, right here in Florence, it became the first Harvey House with sleeping accommodations.

One third of the original structure has been preserved as a museum by the Florence Historical Society. Visitors may view a “Harvey Girl” mannequin dressed in uniform, place settings, and several Fred Harvey items. A 1929 caboose, the first year metal cabooses were introduced is the latest addition to the Society’s collection. Admission is free, but donations welcomed. Call ahead for further information at (316) 878-4296. Tours may be arranged by appointment.rn