Great Plains Foodways Connection explores, conserves and celebrates Kansas food heritage and its contributions to the American culinary tapestry through research and education.
Fred Harvey sprinkled the frontier with culture, women and fine dining, changing a traveler’s experience on westering trains in the 1870s. By the time the Santa Fe Railroad linked ocean to ocean in 1869, Harvey Houses lined the landscape and fed travelers – locals, too – with precision and class. His rail stop café in Topeka in 1876 became the first Harvey House. The Clifton House in Florence opened its modern bath facilities to locals. Tuesdays and Fridays were reserved for women. Candice Reich, a former K-State student who took Development of American Cuisine, followed the man who changed the face of dining out American-style.
The chuckwagon, like the rebuilt one shown here, served as kitchen, hospital and closet for trail drives and ranch round-ups. Charles Goodnight, who owned the first cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle, the JA Ranch, is credited with inventing the chuckwagon. Photo by Jane P. Marshall