Wigwam & Western Summit
The Wigwam Gift Shop and Western Summit
By Brittany and Dakota
We, Dakota and Brittany, drive by the Wigwam Gift Shop and Western Summit almost every day but we never realized it had such an important history. After some research here’s what we learned.
The Wigwam Gift Shop, with an elevation of 2,100 feet, is located at 23350 Mohawk Trail in North Adams, MA a short distance from the famous Hairpin Turn, on the western summit of Hoosac Mountain. The western summit is also known as Perry’s Peak after a Williams College professor. The Wigwam and Western Summit was first built in 1914 just as the Mohawk Trail was being finished and has a wonderful view of North Adams and the surrounding mountains, including Mount Greylock.
It was built as a gift shop and place to stay with 13 cabins, but according to Stanley Brown, at one time it was a dance hall that people would come from miles around to enjoy the dancing and music. At one time there was a tall wooden observation tower at the summit. According to Robert Campanile, Nathaniel Nathaniel visited this site in the 19th century and said, “…the view from the top of the hill from the westward at sunset has a particularly happy and peaceful look…” and we agree.
When we visited the site it was kind of sad that the Wigwam is now closed down and a For Sale sign was out front. The place seemed so small but the view was gigantic. Hopefully, someday soon the Wigwam gift Shop and Western Summit will become as popular a place to visit as it was in themed 20th century. To learn more visit the Wigwams web site at http://www.thewigwam.net/index.html.