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Pioneers of the American West: The Harvey Girls (Photos)

Making a mark

The Harvey Girls

(Image credit: Northern Arizona University Library)

The Harvey Girls were forever memorialized into American history when in 1946 MGM released the Hollywood movie "The Harvey Girls" staring Judy Garland. The movie was based on the 1942 book with the same title written by Samuel Hopkins Adams. Through the magic of the big screen many Americans got to see for themselves the story of these brave young woman who courageously came to the American West for a well paying job and a chance for adventure and independence. They were as much a group of brave American pioneers as any westward traveling miner, trapper, railroad man or farmer. And, in a time when there were "no ladies west of Dodge City and no women west of Albuquerque, the Harvey Girls brought civilization to a vast region of America and became the founding mothers of the new American West.