Florence Things to Do
Harvey House Museum. Fred Harvey was an Englishman who came to the US and worked for a while in restaurants. Then he became a railroad man. While working for the railroad he realized the need for quality food and lodgings. He established a chain of restaurants along side the railroads. He hired young women agest 18-30 to work in his restaurants. In those days working women were considered socially inferior so rather than be called waitress the girls liked to be called 'Harvey Girls'. The girls got a job, a rail pass, and free room and board. They had to sign a contract agreeing to work for one full year in return. Remember that these young women waited on some of the most prominant citizens of the old west at a time when there were very few women in some parts of the country.
This is the first Harvey House Hotel/Restaurant ever built (1878). Today part of it is a museum. In the other part of the building meals are available. Girls in typical black and white uniforms serve meals prepared using original Harvery recipes.
I snapped this photo but I have no idea what the place is like. We were there on a Saturday morning when the night life is quiet.
Florence has some fine looking old lime stone buildings. This particular one is the home of Moses Shane one of the original settlers. There is a sign in park near highway 50 showing pictures of some of the other limestone buildings and where to find them. It will take a car to reach Florence on highway 50 and to get around town.
Florence Local Customs
Near highway 50 there is a sign for a historical marker. The marker is in a small park near the highway. It tells of how Moses Shane was first white man to settle here in 1858. When Mr. Shane first settled he would not have another living human being within many miles from where he lived. It must have been a lonely existance until others came west.