Tee Pee Motel Restoration Brings Back a Bygone Era

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WHARTON, Texas (AP) - A bit of American history huddles next to old Highway 59, past the tractor dealers and the rice mills, just before a green sign that proclaims Wharton's population of 9,237.

It's easy to miss.

But it is there, just around the bend: a row of ten freshly painted, sand-colored tepees called the Tee Pee Motel.

It's a throwback to the 1940s and '50s, when taking a drive was still in style and roadside businesses used gimmicky architecture, like a gas station that looked like an oil derrick, to lure customers.

The Tee Pee Motel is one of just a handful of tepee-themed lodges left in the country.