Friday, March 13, 2015

Mrs. Harvey's Baking Company

I found myself on day eight of the twelve day Errandonnee challenge faced with the reality that I needed to hop to it or I wouldn't be completing the challenge at all.

Three nights prior, Sam and I had a conversation about tail lights for our bicycles. He'd already borrowed one of mine and the other that I thought had fresh batteries in it wasn't working either. We managed to get to our destination with the help of an almost forgotten third tail light, but decided that, after a thorough search of all the random "junk drawers" in the house, we currently have no AAA batteries.

A perfect errandonnee trip, I thought.

As I set out to pick up the batteries this cloudy, dreary morning, I passed a place that we've ridden by countless times. We've taken note and thought we should investigate further, but neither had done so to this point.
Quite often, we pass what appears to be an early 1900's home with a sign on the front that reads: Mrs. Harvey's Baking Company. Sam, having the extreme sweet tooth he does, was particularly drawn to this sign in the past, and I'm always interested in a doughy, sweet treat on occasion as well. We figured that perhaps a business was being run out of the home, but why we'd never seen a Mrs. Harvey's baked good was left only to our imaginations.

On this trip though, I couldn't help but stop in front of the home. I tried to find company hours or any indication that this could be a bread shop or bakery with only limited hours without success. I snapped a quick photo and decided to do some research at home later.

As it turns out, "Mrs. Harvey" is a pretty interesting lady. She was born in Chicago and had a variety of jobs before beginning work for the Continental Baking Company. She was working for this company when she met her future husband, Harvey Cunningham. She would become the forewoman for Continental, but would give up her position in order to marry Harvey. Eventually, they both transferred to the very first Twinkie plant in the country (I know some people who would be very envious of this job).

In 1948, the two moved to Longmont, Colorado and with a couple of friends formed Mrs. Harvey's Baking Company, which sold wholesale baked goods such as cake and pies.

I was unable to determine when exactly the bakery stopped making goods and why, but the spot still stands; though now serves as a single family home. A bit of homage is paid to the organization that used to produce the sweet goods as the house still bears the sign for the baking company.

Mrs. Harvey, aka Blanche Cunningham, passed just after her 99th birthday, almost three years ago.

It's hard to believe how many times I've passed this spot and never bothered to investigate further. I suppose it's just one more reason to travel by bicycle. Feeling less hurried (at least generally speaking), it feels acceptable to stop and take a look around, to investigate areas or things a bit more than when driving down the road.

I hope you're finding little (and big) things to appreciate about the Errandonnee challenge, and if you aren't participating, there are still a few days to get your rides in.

6 comments:

  1. Fascinating, I had always assumed this was a recent business, and not a residence. Twelve-ish years and I never knew!

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    1. I'm just sad it's not still operational. :O( I really was hoping they made fresh bread or something along those lines, but it's still really cool to know a bit about the history - even if limited info is available. I wonder if Peter's ever done any research on this place? Maybe he can provide more?

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  2. I've seen this house but had no idea what it was about. Thanks for the info!

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    1. Oh, man! I was counting on you as the resident Longmont expert to give me more info. :O) Happy to share a bit.

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  3. I just drove past this for the first time and when I googled it, your blog post was the first to come up. Hope to find out more as it is fascinating.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was too curious to let it go without a bit of reserach. If you find out anything else, I'd love to have more information.

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