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Teepees: Wigwam Villages (page 1)

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Wigwam Village #1 [gone]
Horse Cave, KY
Wigwam Village #1 Wigwam Villages #1 and #2
Cabin Interior (either Wigwam Village #1 or #2)
Technically, these structures are teepees. Wigwams are actually dome-shaped. But I'm using the term "wigwam" in this section since that's what Frank A. Redford called them. There were seven of these Wigwam Villages"built in the Southeast and Southwest between 1937 and 1949. Only three of these remain today: Cave City, KY; Holbrook, AZ; and Rialto, CA.

Redford's fascination with Native American culture began when he was just a boy. As an adult, Redford was inspired by a teepee-shaped drive-in he'd seen in Long Beach, CA. He returned home to build a teepee restaurant in the early 1930s. The building also housed his huge collection of Native American artifacts. In 1933, he decided to add 15 teepee-shaped cabins for tourists to stay in. This would become the model for the six other Wigwam Villages. Unfortunately, Wigwam Village #1 was torn down in 1981 but a Wigwam Gulf Station still stands across the street as a reminder.

The Village layout had the largest teepee as office/restaurant/souvenir shop with gas pumps out in front. To the side of the main teepee were two smaller teepees as restrooms (labeled "Braves" and "Squaws"). The other cabin teepees were laid out around these in a semi-circle. Each cabin was about 25 feet in diameter and had two diamond-shaped windows. Swastikas, an Indian symbol, were painted on the tops of the teepees but they were painted over during World War II. A red and white zigzag motif was used both outside and inside the teepees. The cabin interiors were 10-sided and decorated in Southwestern style with tiled baths, hickory bark and cane furniture. Indian blankets were used as bedspreads and Indian rugs were placed on the floors.

Wigwam Villages
page 2
Wigwam Villages
page 3
Teepees Main Page


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