In 1920 Harvey announced plans to build a 130-foot-tall concrete and stone obelisk he called the “Pyramid.” Convinced that the fall of civilization was close at hand, he planned to leave a message for future generations in the structure. The Book, authored by Harvey, would tell people of the future how to avoid the collapse that he feared was near. Harvey also planned to put in his Pyramid “numerous small articles . . . from the size of a needle and safety pin up to a victrola.”

Around the obelisk he planned a large amphitheater that he called the “foyer” for the Pyramid. Work began on the amphitheater in 1925. One local resident described the project as unhurried and somewhat haphazard; Harvey had no plans or blueprints, and he worked out the design as he went. Harvey was never able to raise enough money to build the Pyramid. But he did complete the amphitheater, and over the years local people came to call it “the Pyramids.”

Above, an illustration of the Pyramid from Harvey’s pamphlet Common Sense. Right, cover of The Book. Below, the booklet Harvey sold to raise money toward his project.

While the amphitheater was under construction, Harvey built a high board fence around the area and charged visitors 25 cents to enter, see the progress, and hear him lecture on monetary theories. After the 1000-seat amphitheater was dedicated in 1928 Harvey continued to charge admission to raise funds for the Pyramid. Over the years thousands of people visited the site, recording their names in a guestbook that was to be preserved in the Pyramid.

Among those to sign the guestbook at the amphitheater was Will Rogers, Jr., son of the beloved entertainer, Will Rogers. Will Rogers married Betty Blake at her home in Rogers and the family visited her hometown often. Below is the completed amphitheater as it looked in the 1950s.

During the early 1920s the resort reportedly was busy, but not busy enough to make the hotels successful. In 1927 Missouri and Oklahoma Rows were sold at auction in a foreclosure sale. At the time they were owned by a group of about 400 stockholders, of which Harvey was the chairman.


Above, students and faculty at the Ozark Industrial
College, late 1920s, courtesy of Lorene Huckstep.
Below the cover of Harvey’s 1927 pamphlet, Common Sense.
 

 

Within a year the new owner sold the property to the Ozark Industrial College and School of Theology, which operated until 1932. The old Hotel Monte Ne continued to be operated as a hotel under the name Hotel Frances.

 

 

Harvey continued to write and raise funds toward the Pyramid project. He had often written against divorce, but in 1929 his failed marriage came to an end. He divorced his long-absent wife Anna and married his long-time secretary, May Leake. Their neighbors at Monte Ne chivaried the couple on their return from Bentonville.
 


 


More Info

To read a report on the dedication of the amphitheater, click here.  (23kb pdf)

To view the entire Pyramid booklet, click here.

Part I.     (78kb jpeg)
Part II.    (43kb jpeg)
Part III.   (157kb jpeg)
Part IV.   (150kb jpeg)
Part V.    (163kb jpeg)
Part VI.   (240kb jpeg)
Part VII.  (216kb jpeg)
Part VIII. (225kb jpeg)
Part IX.   (245kb jpeg)

To view a newspaper report on Harvey’s divorce and remarriage, click here.
(85kb jpeg)

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