ask the marshall true west magazine

What was the cost of room and board at a Harvey House?

Bill Stone
Flagstaff, Arizona

In about 1900, a breakfast consisting of cereal, fruit, eggs atop a steak, hash browns, six large hot cakes, maple syrup and butter, coffee, topped off with apple pie would cost you 50 cents. Dinner went for a quarter more and included a gourmet dish or wild game. Men were required to wear a jacket in the dining room. In 1909, rooms went from $3 to $5. In 1910 the average annual salary for Americans was $700.

true west magazine harvey house
Kingman, Arizona’s, Harvey House was built in 1901. The historic house of hospitality was destroyed in a fire in 1952.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.

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