Kick-off Celebration at Historic Harvey House for Grand Opening of Restored Kelso Depot

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   March 23, 2006
Contact:  

John Rader, City of Barstow, Phone:(760) 255-5105
Howard Gross, NPCA, Phone: (760) 366-3035  



Kick-off Celebration at Historic Harvey House for Grand Opening of Restored Kelso Depot

The City of Barstow in conjunction with the California Desert field office of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Bureau, the Western America Railroad Museum and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum will host a free community celebration at the historic Harvey House this Saturday, March 25, 2006, to kick-off the grand opening of the restored Kelso Depot in the Mojave National Preserve.

With Barstow being the gateway to the Mojave National Preserve, it is only fitting that we hold a kick-off celebration for the grand opening of the Mojave National Preserve's principal information center at Kelso Depot,?said Lawrence Dale, Barstow mayor. We expect this momentous day to mark the renewal both of a mutually beneficial relationship between our Harvey House and the Kelso Depot and a close bond between the Mojave National Preserve and Barstow,?added Dale.

NPCA has been a key proponent of adapting this historic structure and incredible cultural resource to increase public access and visitation at the Preserve,?said Ron Tipton, Senior Vice President of Programs for NPCA. This project creates the potential for public rail transportation to the Kelso Depot, and will encourage people from around the world to enjoy and experience this unique national park unit.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. on March 25 at the Harvey House, Vick's Restaurant will offer a free breakfast and beverages for the first few hundred guests. From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Shadow Mountain Band will perform their unique blend of traditional folk, hillbilly gospel, mountain music and bluegrass along with eclectic originals. The Western America Railroad Museum and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum are offering extended hours that day as well as special tours. Attendees will learn more about rail and road culture before they head out to the grand opening festivities at the Kelso Depot.

At 10:30 a.m., a community caravan will leave the Harvey House in Barstow heading to the grand opening events to be held at the Kelso Depot, including a special dedication ceremony at 2:00 p.m. The National Park Service has a full range of activities planned for the Kelso Depot grand opening on March 25, including park ranger tours of the Mojave National Preserve and more.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AT THE HARVEY HOUSE ON SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2006

- 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. -- Complimentary breakfast selection, juice and coffee

- 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. -- Tours and shopping at the Western America Railroad Museum and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum

- 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. -- Live traditional American music courtesy of the Shadow Mountain Band

- 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. -- Guest train historian Alfred Runte slide show and talk

- 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. -- Photographer Mark Andrews exhibits his landscapes of the Mojave National Preserve

- 10:30 a.m. ? Caravan leaves the Harvey House to Kelso Depot

Built in 1924 by the Union Pacific Railroad, Kelso Depot has been transformed into Mojave National Preserve's principal information center, with museum exhibits, a theater, and bookstore. Several rooms have been historically furnished to recreate their appearance in the 1930s.

The Barstow Harvey House, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by Francis Wilson and constructed in 1911, one of dozens of Harvey Houses constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad. Each individual Harvey House had its own name. The Harvey House in Barstow was named the Casa del Desierto and is the finest remaining Harvey House depot/hotel in California.

 

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