The Harvey House Museum in Florence is hoping to spark new enthusiasm and interest in one of its most historic buildings by offering a free meal as a way to attract involvement from Marion County residents.
Phoebe Janzen, treasurer of the Florence Historical Society, said the museum needs younger involvement and the hope is the free four-course meal will help.
The first of three dinners was Saturday and for those attending the event, the meal was served in true Fred Harvey style fashion, she said.
“Fred Harvey style meant top notch service with the best food possible,” she said.
Janzen said Fred Harvey had everything down to a science.
“The cup code was something that enabled the “Harvey Girls” to get drinks to everyone very quickly,” she said.
“The orders were sent ahead of the train and would be ready for people when they arrived because they only had 20 minutes to serve the guests before the train headed out.”
The cup code meant that when a cup was up in the saucer, the guest wanted coffee, Janzen said.
The meal started with a creamy cole slaw salad, followed by appetizer plates.
The main dish, she said, was roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy and asparagus with home made dinner rolls, a fruit and cheese plate and a peach dessert was served with whipped cream.
Those who would like to be included on the reservation list can e-mail Phoebe Janzen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-382-4191.
In addition to this special free event, the Florence Historical Society will do special meals for groups of at least 12 but not more than 24, she said. The cost of the meal is $20 per plate plus gratuity.