By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Needles Tourism & Visitors Center has announced that tours and events are now being offered at the historic El Garces Harvey House at 920 West Broadway in Needles.
Opened in 1908, the historic El Garces was named for Father Francisco Garces — the first European to cross the Mojave Desert. The depot, designed by architect Francis Wilson, was known for its Classical Revival/Beaux-Arts architecture and luxurious interior details.
The Fred Harvey Company, known for its famous “Harvey Girls,” managed the property’s restaurant and hotel. It soon became a sought-after getaway for those riding the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe, or driving by car on historic Route 66.
Falling into disrepair after the building’s closure in 1988, the El Garces was saved in 1993 by Friends of El Garces. City of Needles purchased the station in 1999, and the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Tour guide Mike Thornton (pictured below) promises guests a fact-filled walking tour of the historic station and hotel, where his grandmother once worked as a Harvey Girl.
Tours are $5 per person. For more information, please call 760-326-4007.