The Wigwam motel, still run by the founders family, and now a registered historic monument.
One of the last of a chain of 1950's historic Wigwam hotels.
The Wigwam Motel was originally part of a chain of 7 wigwam villages, of which only 3 now remain.
This group of 15 teepees have a diameter of 14 feet at the base and a height of 32 feet. Unlike Indian teepees these steel and concrete constructions have modern conveniences, double beds and air conditioning. However, they still look authentic - and have been welcoming guests since the 1950's.
The story is taken up by John and Paul, sons of the founder. "Our father, Chester E. Lewis, had other motels along Old Route 66 in the 1930's in other Arizona cities. He saw his first Wigwam Village in Cave City, Kentucky in 1938. A man by the name of Frank Redford already had a couple of Wigwam Villages built in Kentucky by that time. Our father decided that he would like to build a Wigwam Village of his own.
In that time period, the term franchises or chain motels were not known of, much less used. Mr. Redford was more interested in sharing his novel idea than making money. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Redford came to an agreement that radios would be placed in each Wigwam that would play for one half hour for a silver dime. Mr. Redford would then receive the dimes from the radios for a period of some years in payment for the use of his plans.
There were seven of these Wigwam Villages built from the 1930's to the 1950's from Florida to California. The one, here in Holbrook, receives a lot of media attention due to it being located on Route 66 and located near several Native American Reservations, Navajo, Hopi, White Mountain Apache Reservations. "
There are several vintage automobiles that are around the perimeter of the property.
The Wigwam Motel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 2002
Wigwams are non smoking and feature Cable TV, Heat, AC and a full bathroom with showers.
Fifteen large wigwam sleeping units are laid out in an open rectangle to resemble an Indian village. The sleeping units are fashioned afer the manner of teepees of the Plains Indians. The other structures consist of the office, the museum, two small wigwams which were once the restrooms of the old Texaco petrol station.
The property is on the historic path of Route66 in Holbrook, Arizona.