AZ Part 3: Route 66...

Even though we were born after Route 66 was bypassed, it holds great nostalgia for me. So we got off the interstate for a bit, and got our "kicks on Route 66" in the town of Holbrook, Arizona.


The town of Holbrook has a rich history with a story to be told, but that will have to wait until another trip.
The Wigwam Motels is a motel chain in the United States built during the 1930s and 1940s. The rooms are built in the form of tipis, mistakenly referred to as wigwams. It originally had seven different locations but only three remain and when we stumbled upon this one, we had to stop.
Arizona motel owner Chester E. Lewis built this Wigwam Village in 1950.

The motel is arranged as a square, with 15 concrete and steel wigwams on three sides and the main office on the fourth; there was also originally a gas station on the complex. The individual units are called "wigwams," not "rooms" or "tepees" or "cabins." The units are numbered from 1 to 16, (although there is no 13). The base diameter is 14 feet, with each unit 32 feet in height. Behind the main room of each unit is a small bathroom with sink, toilet and shower. Current rooms contain the original restored hickory furniture, two double beds, cable TV and a window-mounted air conditioner. In keeping with the authenticity of the restoration, there are no telephones, Internet access or ice machines.
Disney's Pixar people had to have stolen this entire plan for Cars down to this Hudson for the character of Doc. It was so Disneyesque, I was in tourist heaven. Vintage restored automobiles from the 1960s and earlier are located throughout the parking area, next to the wigwams making it feel so authentic.
Lewis operated the motel until closing it in 1974 when Interstate 40 bypassed downtown Holbrook. Two years after his death in 1986, his children renovated the motel before reopening it in 1988. The Lewis family continues to run and maintain Wigwam Village #6 and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

All along 40 we saw skeletons of what use to be for Route 66's heyday. It was wonderful to find this gem, still in business, embracing a different time in Americana. What a true treasure this is. What a kick!

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1 comments:

Nickanddeb Bako said...

How fun!! It would be awesome to stay in a wigwam.

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