Over the years I’ve driven through the small town of Holbrook, Arizona at least fifty times, maybe even a hundred. Yet it wasn’t until I moved here that I took the time to appreciate this gem on Route 66.
In particular, The Wigwam Motel, started by Mr. Lewis in 1950.
Seven of these “wigwam villages” were constructed in the U.S between the 1930’s and 1950’s, the one in Holbrook being Wigwam Village #6. It was a successful business along Route 66 until Interstate 40 was completed in the late 1970’s. The new highway effectively shut down the motel, and Mr. Lewis only operated gas out of the location.
Two years after Mr. Lewis’s death, his wife and children re-purchased the property and opened the Wigwam for business again.
The lobby is full of antiques and collectibles Mr. Lewis and his family have acquired over the years. I am handed a key from Mr. Lewis’s great grandson, a proud young boy working the counter with his Mother.
I spend the night in the history of Route 66, among the old cars in the parking lot museum.