1936 tourist “cabins” in Kentucky

Cabins imitating the Indian teepee

“Cabins imitating the Indian teepee for tourists along highway south of Bardstown, Kentucky.”  Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Photographed by Farm Security Administration staff photographer Marion Post Wolcott in July 1940.  The photo is of Wigwam City #2, Cave City, Kentucky.

“The Wigwam Motels, also known as the “Wigwam Villages”, is a motel chain in the United States in which the rooms are built in the form of teepees, hence the name “wigwam”. It originally had seven different locations: two locations in Kentucky, a location in Alabama, another location in Florida, one in Arizona, one in Louisiana, and another one in California. They are very distinctive historic landmarks. Two of the three surviving motels are located on historic U.S. Route 66, in Holbrook, Arizona and on the city boundary between Rialto and San Bernardino, California. Wigwam Motel #2, in Cave City, Kentucky was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1988 under the official designation of Wigwam Village #2.

image“Wigwam village #2 was built in 1937 a few miles south of the original wigwam village #1, but on US-31W in Cave City. It was built consisting of 15 wigwams used as guest rooms and a much bigger concrete and steel central structure that originally served as a restaurant. The 15 wigwams are arranged in a semi circle around a common area with playground and recreation area. Each wigwam has a paved pad to accommodate one car.

The diameter at the base of each teepee is 14 feet (4.3 m), they are 32 feet (9.8 m) in height. Behind the main room of each unit is a small bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower. In 2008, the rooms contain the original restored hickory furniture, cable TV and a window mounted air conditioner. There are no telephones to maintain the original atmosphere of the motel, though there is internet access. The restaurant is no longer in operation, but the motel is still open and welcoming guests.

“Wigwam village #2 is close to Mammoth Cave National Park … The motel is located on 601 North Dixie Hwy, Cave City, Kentucky. ” –   Wikipedia


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