Second post today, which is also Valentine’s Day and Arizona’s birthday! I believe this postcard solves the mystery of my recent post entitled Tents. Dresses. Whipple Station.
The moment I saw this card, I thought – my mystery card is solved. The men’s uniforms are strikingly similar, tents and trees provide the backdrop and here is a woman, fashionable hair and clothes, in nature.
The card instructs: “United States and Canada One Cent”, I know this card was printed between 1925 and 1928. Charmingly, it gives permission for writing a message, “THIS SPACE MAY BE USED FOR MESSAGE.”
Fred Harvey, of Harvey Girls fame both curated and made the American West a business. He recognized opportunity in many ways; restaurants, hotels, Indian jewelry, baskets, blankets and pots. In my searches about Fred Harvey side trips, I found many references, but none to this specific forest near the Grand Canyon. On my holiday season trip to Arizona this past year (2020), I made a point of visiting the Tusayan Forest, which was lovely, crisp, cold with a tiny bit of snow on the ground.
Front of the card says, “Camping Party in Tusayan Forest on Hermit Rim Road. Grand Canyon, Arizona.” This reminds me of present-day glamping, while simultaneously bringing thoughts of British aristocracy and “picnics”.
I think the two postcards are the same scene separated by 15 years in time and miles in place. I think our Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe passengers were having a lovely picnic, courtesy of Mr. Harvey. If you’ve seen the Judy Garland film, The Harvey Girls, the song should be playing in your head about now…sorry about that. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s a good diversion.
The post card narrates the scene:
“Camping trips are completely equipped and placed in charge of experienced guides by the Transportation Department at Grand Canyon.
“There are many interesting trips that may be made into “God’s Out-of-Doors”, trips westward to Hermit Trail, or to the east as far as the Hopi and Navajo Reservations. Nowhere else in the world can one combine such genuine enjoyable camp life with such grandeur of scenery, comfort and safety; the magnificent panorama of the Canyon on one side and the fragrant pines of the forest on the other – 7517.”
Fred Harvey is the iconic entrepreneur. I think the prior card was a similar camping trip, whether that meant overnight, or a day trip. I am fascinated by these women, dressed in arguably serious clothing, enjoying the outdoors and their guides from the Transportation Department at Grand Canyon.
I love the official sounding and capitalized “Transportation Department at Grand Canyon”. I presume there were other Transportation Departments of the Fred Harvey Enterprise at other natural and historic place all over Fred Harvey Land.
Here’s to a Happy Valentine’s Day for Arizona and for all of us celebrating our love of this great state!