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Wigwam Motel.

Wigwam Village Motel No. 7

Field review by the editors.

Rialto, California

This was the last motel in the Wigwam Village franchise. It was built in the late 1940s by Frank Redford, who had built the two original Wigwam Villages in Kentucky. By No. 7 he had the design down pat: a large, central teepee that served as an office flanked by a semicircle of smaller guest cabin teepees. The cabin teepees were 32 feet high, 20 feet across, built of wood and stucco. Frank originally built 11 of them, but as travel increased along Route 66 he added eight more.

Wigwam Motel.

Frank Redford eventually became ill and died in Wigwam Village Motel No. 7. That was in 1957, although reports of his death failed to mention if he expired in the office teepee or in one of the cabins.

Wigwam Village Motel No. 7 went through a series of subsequent owners and fell from respectability. By the early 1990s it had been outfitted with waterbeds; its rooms could be rented by the hour, and its advertising slogan was, "Do it in a Wigwam." As far as we know Frank Redford did not haunt his former motel, although he certainly could be forgiven for doing so.

In an ironic twist, Indians saved this Wigwam Village -- specifically the Patel family, immigrants from India. In 2002 the Patels purchased the motel and made it their goal to restore Wigwam Village Motel No. 7 to its former grandeur. The waterbeds were thrown out; the offending sign taken down. The Patels cleaned up the grounds and cabins, repaired the vintage tiles in the bathrooms, rebuilt the fire pit, and reopened the kidney-shaped swimming pool.

Wigwam Motel.

Wigwam Village Motel No. 7 -- now called simply Wigwam Motel -- once again became a destination for Mother Road travelers, and in 2012 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, joining the other two surviving Wigwam Village Motels.

Also see: Wigwam Village Motel No. 2 | Wigwam Village Motel No. 6

Wigwam Village Motel No. 7

Wigwam Motel

2728 E. Foothill Blvd., Rialto, CA
Old Route 66, north side between N Pepper Ave. and N. Meridian Ave. Bordered by San Bernardino.
Free to view. Stay: $70-$100.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

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First Original McDonald's MuseumFirst Original McDonald's Museum, San Bernardino, CA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Desert Christ Park, Yucca Valley, CA - 52 mi.

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