To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I’d be writing a post about our stay in Wigwam Village #2. I felt uneasy about the unobscured cultural appropriation. However, within minutes of meeting one of the new owners, my doubts fell away. He easily brought up the topic and began educating us about what the original inventor/entrepreneur, Frank Redford, got right as well as what he got wrong with his roadside venture.
A short drive from Mammoth Cave National Park, Wigwam Village #2 is the type of Americana you’d expect to find along Route 66. In fact, although the first two villages were built in this southern Kentucky community, the only other remaining villages are actually along Route 66: the #6 in Holbrook, Arizona and the #7 in San Bernardino, California.
Turning off of Highway 31W, you’re welcomed by the newly restored neon sign that invites you to “Eat and Sleep in a Wigwam.” (Among the things Redford got wrong was his preference for calling the structures wigwams instead of teepees. What he got right was creating a sense of community among overnight guests!)
The owner met us at the office and invited us to sit on the porch while he shared a short history of the wigwams and answered our questions. Other guests joined us as they arrived as well as a man who stopped by looking for souvenirs. Learning the history at check-in really helped us to appreciate the details during our stay. We were also immediately struck by the passion that the new owners are bringing to its renovation!
Cozy wigwam #14 provided a great night’s sleep. The original bed, chair and vanity table took us back to 1937. Luckily, the new mattress helped us sleep in the modern age! A heater quickly warmed up the space and there is an air conditioner for summer. The shower surprised us with great water pressure, lots of hot water and a drain that works. Taking a close look at the red and white tiled floor and the red wall tile designs gave us an appreciation for the detail that went into the original construction.
Encircled by the teepees is a large communal play area with fire pits and a playground that encourages fireside conversation just as it happened 80 plus years ago. There’s also a grill area and lighted picnic pavilion with tables.
The largest teepee sits in front by the neon sign. Currently closed, it formerly housed a lunch counter and gift shop. The new owners plan to renovate it and open it as a coffee shop. Can’t wait to return for a latte!!!
More to know…
To read more about the history and architecture of the village, go to their website at Historic Wigwam Village or look here for the information they provide in each guest room.
For authentic New York style pizza, try Cave City Pizza. In Horse Cave, Farmwald’s Dutch Bakery and Restaurant makes light, yeast doughnuts … caramel glazed, cream-filled, jelly-filled and more!
The boardwalk loop trail at Sloan’s Crossing Pond Walk is perfect for an above ground stroll in Mammoth Cave NP.