Legacy of Mary Jane Colter and Fred Harvey
Fred Harvey's La Posada in Winslow, Arizona;
we'll savor two nights at Mary Jane
Thanks to you all
who enjoyed this wonderful new learning vacation in 2011!
We hope to be
able to offer this learning vacation again.
Mary Colter's gardens still offer respite from the travails of
This reflecting pool is new, but the ironwork on windows and
doors are reflections of Colter.
In early days of La Posada, many railroad travelers preferred
to get off now and then and overnight along the way.
Surely many early Harvey Girls swooned at the likes of Gable;
today the tradition is carried on in lively interpretations of
Colter's Lookout Studio, 1914, blends into the Canyon's rim
rocks, and offers a view of El Tovar through its blue windows
The Canyon's daytime views are glorious; after sunset, a long
(40 second) exposure can bring out deep rich colors beyond the
Hermit's Rest, 1914, has its own story to tell to the keen
observer of Colter's details; who was this Hermit?
The colors and workmanship of Bright Angel Lodge are amazing to
Cameron Trading post offers both history and comfort, including
what many travelers dub the best Navajo Taco. Dinosaur tracks
grace the entrance of one of the buildings (no, the Post's not
that old) and the Gallery offers some of the finest in Southwest
arts & crafts.
Arizona's painted Desert has long been an attraction
Colter teamed with Hopi artist Fred Kabotie to decorate the
interior of the Painted Desert Inn.
Nearing Old Route 66, one finds tradition: abandoned cars,
abandoned gas stations; diners with good roadside food...burgers
& a Coke, and more...
How does one eat Navajo fried bread? With honey, a smile and a
big bite! Many say the best fried bread is crafted from Blue Bird
flour; best aprons, too!
Colter's Desert View Watchtower (1932) is undergoing a deep
renovation, but her original handprint remains visible throughout
The kiva-inspired roof of the main room is built from timbers
from an earlier lodge. Canyon views abound!
The scouting trips required to put the tour together smoothly
occasionally find Mary & Piet camping; BFT hasn't offered
camping trips for nearly 20 years, but Mary & Piet still
indulge themselves now and then, as here at the Grand Canyon.
Scouting requires testing desserts at Bright Angel Lodge (we
Beware: If you accidentally drop crumbs from Bright Angel's amazing
double chocolate muffins, you'll attract the local residents.
La Posada in the Good Ol' Days
Visitors to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim
often overlook the architectural genius and cultural authenticity
exhibited there in the many works by Mary Colter. However,
those who take note will find even the awesome spectacle of the
canyon itself enhanced by her innovative creativity. In the last
decades of the 19th-Century, America was ripe for
leisurely exploration and adventure into the vast and unknown
American West. The quickly expanding railroads were replacing
stagecoaches; travel was faster, but still rough around the edges,
and the travelers’ minds were filled with dime novel images of wild
Indians and an untamed land. Enter Fred Harvey, who teams
with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to masterfully
provide comfort, reliability and even luxury in both Santa Fe’s
dining cars and his famed Harvey Houses. At the dawn of the
Twentieth Century, the Harvey Company hired Colter to design the
interior of the impressive Alvarado, his Harvey House in
Albuquerque. The rest is history; Colter’s brilliance and
attention to detail were an immediate success and endure today in
what we think of as Southwest Style.
Join us to rediscover the West, looking through the
lenses of history, architecture and interior design to examine and
explore Mary Colter’s many stunning buildings and interiors in
northern Arizona, as well as Fred Harvey’s legacy, and the
impact of fabled Route 66. Our journey includes round-trip
transportation from Tucson; four hotel nights (two each at Cameron
and at Colter’s beautifully restored masterpiece: La Posada in
Winslow); a full day at the Grand Canyon; an array of
knowledgeable local guides and historians and much more.
the West - May 2–6, 2011
Single occupancy private rooms
are available .
Some of Baja's Frontier Tours' most special
and unique learning vacations are produced for members of Tucson's Tohono Chul Park, a
botanical garden and art museum (with a gift shop and very pleasant
restaurant, by the way). The Park's mission is to enrich
people's lives by providing them the opportunity to find peace and
inspiration in a place of beauty, to experience the wonders of the
Sonoran Desert, and to gain knowledge of the natural and cultural
heritage of this region. Whenever you're in Tucson, plan an
extended visit to the Park to learn more about it's mission and to further
appreciate our Sonoran Desert.
It's easy to become a
ITINERARY? QUESTIONS? RESERVATIONS?
brochure with more details of this trip is yours for the asking. Call Mary & Piet Van de
We produce this
learning vacation personally and look forward to answering your
to speak with you to discuss your interests and what we have to
Please call or email to
make your reservations in advance. Space is limited.
Mary & Piet Van de Mark
Frontier Tours LLC Tucson, Arizona 2010