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Railroads - Barstow

Casa del Desierto - Harvey House

Barstow Harvey House and train station photo - Casa del Desierto
Casa del Desierto: The Spanish for "House of the Desert"

In 1911 Fred Harvey of the Harvey House system opened up the Casa Del Desierto featuring gourmet dining and lodging were featured and for many years the Barstow Harvey House was considered the jewel of the chain. With a full ballroom the neo-Southwestern style building also became the site for many of the town's dances and social events.

Historic photo of Casa Del Desierto lobby, Barstow, Ca.
Courtesy Mojave River Valley Museum
The first Harvey House and railroad depot was built in May, 1887. Only two months later in July, it burned down and was immediately rebuilt. In 1892 the depot burned down again and was rebuilt. In 1908 the depot burned down again. Harvey House on the forth try, in 1911, the building was made of bricks and didn't burn down. In 1974, with the station already closed and thoroughly vandalized, Santa Fe prepared to demolish the structure. Citizens formed to save the building. In 1985 Santa Fe donated the buildings to the City of Barstow. Casa del Desierto was renovated, and only one day before the re-dedication in 1992, the Landers earthquake struck it was all set back several more years and millions of dollars.

Casa Del Desierto was again repaired and re-dedicated in 1999.

Courtesy Mojave River Valley Museum

Courtesy Mojave River Valley Museum

Casa Del Desierto History

The Harvey Girls

Railroad Museum

The Western America Railroad Museum houses railroad memorabilia, photos and archives available for public viewing. Includes not only the Barstow area, but items from the entire West as well. There are old engines, passenger cars and cabooses on the grounds.

Route 66 Mother Road Museum

The Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum displays a collection of historic Route 66 artifacts and photographs related to the entire highway and the Mojave Desert communities it passes through.
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These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
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