Saturday, November 8, 2014

Get on board for Harvey House history

Veterans Day: 'Troops and Trains' event to showcase World War II photos

Lawrence Dale, right, and Carol Randall, the chair for the Barstow Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, check out two of the photos that will be on display at the Harvey House on Tuesday for the Troops and Trains event.

Victorville Daily Press

BARSTOW — Carol Randall remembers sitting down enjoying her morning coffee and watching CNN.

“I noticed this older picture,” she said. “I saw this old photo of troops getting on a train, and I said, holy Mike! So I started some research and found out we had a tremendous amount of troop trains come through here (Harvey House in Barstow) during World War II. And they stopped here for coffee and doughnuts and went on to port to be shipped off to the war theater.”

That was six months ago, according to the chair of Barstow Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. Randall says she’s a planner. So she began planning for a Harvey House event.

“I thought, my goodness, there’s more history we have failed to get out to the community. One more reason to love this old lady (Harvey House),” she said. “So I called my buddy (Lawrence Dale, former mayor of Barstow and on the committee), and I said, ‘what do you think about this?’ And he said ‘I like it.’ ”

Randall presented an idea to the committee and that is how a new Harvey House event, “Troops and Trains” was born, according to Randall.

The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Harvey House, 681 N. First Ave., from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday to help observe Veterans Day.

“We started very small. Simply coffee and doughnuts, a little music and some pictures,” Randall said. “I said, ‘Lawrence, can you dig up some pictures?’ If you ever need some pictures, send Lawrence.”

Dale took a trip to a rail museum in Topeka, Kansas. The museum donated several pictures to Barstow’s new event. The pictures will be displayed throughout the ballroom at the Harvey House. Also, Randall said all military veterans are invited. She said a couple veterans from World War II have been invited to share their stories too.

Besides other displays, 1950s music will be performed by the Ken Courtney Jazz ensemble. Doughnuts, like the ones that were served to the troops, and sandwiches will be served.

Randall says the display of photos will remain at the Harvey House throughout the week to allow for students from the surrounding schools to visit.