Harvey Houses were the result of the Fred Harvey Company, which created a chain of hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses along the railroads throughout the Western United States. Fred Harvey is credited with creating the first restaurant chain in the U.S. and playing a major role in promoting tourism throughout the Southwest in the late 19th century. The railway provided the buildings and Fred Harvey's restaurants and hotels provided the quality service that travelers craved and eventually demanded.
The station combines Spanish Renaissance and Classic Revival architectural styles with some additional Moorish influences. It is said to be the finest example of a depot-hotel remaining in California. In 1975, Casa del Desierto was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
|Casa del Desierto ca. 1912