Belen’s Harvey House operated from 1910 to 1939. It had a first-class dining room and a lunchroom with a large horseshoe-shaped marble counter. The Harvey Girls lived upstairs, as did the dorm mother and the office manager and his wife.
In the 1940s, it briefly reopened during World War II, with many Harvey Girls coming out of retirement to serve troop trains. In the 1950s, it became the Santa Fe Reading Room for railroad employees, serving as a breakroom and dormitory through the 1970s.
Boarded up and readied for demolition, a campaign by citizens of Belen saved the building from being torn down. In 1982, the Santa Fe Railroad donated the building to the City of Belen and hundreds of volunteers began restoring the building.
The Harvey House reopened in 1985 as a civic center, a scattering of government and nonprofit offices and small museum. Activities took a toll on the aging building, so to ensure its preservation, it was repurposed and became completely devoted to the Harvey House Museum, which features a strong collection of railroad and Belen historical artifacts and information.
In 2013, the Valencia County Historical Society turned over management of the museum to the City of Belen.
Today the Harvey House Museum specializes in Harvey House, railroad and Southwest history as a branch of the Belen Public Library.