Ramona washes cabin windows

Ramona Lehman, board member of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society, washes windows Tuesday at the Camp Joy cabin, which is being cleaned for the Route 66 Festival.

The historic Camp Joy cabin at Lebanon’s Boswell Park will be open to the public on the Saturday (June 19) of this year’s Route 66 Festival.

The Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society restored the cabin two years ago after it was donated by businessman Lee Sing and moved to the Route 66-themed park with the blessing of the City of Lebanon.

It was the last cabin standing from one of Lebanon’s first Route 66 tourist camps. Camp Joy was established by a Nebraska family as a campground in 1927, only one year after Route 66, then a two-lane gravel road, was designated a U.S. highway. The family -- Charles and Lida Spears and their son and his wife, Emis and Lois Spears -- took turns parking on either side of the road for three days counting out-of-state cars before choosing Lebanon as a location for their camp.

Howard Fuller, a former Route 66 Society board member who worked on the restoration, will be at the cabin during the festival to discuss its history and answer questions.

This year’s Route 66 Festival presented by Heritage Bank of the Ozarks returns to a two-day format with events — including three cruise-ins and three bands -- in three locations June 18-19. From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, activities will be on Commercial Street in downtown Lebanon hosted by the Lebanon Downtown Business District. On Saturday, the festival moves to Boswell Park with the bicycle/tricycle parade and decorated bike contest at 9 a.m. The Route 66 Parade of classic vehicles rolls from east Lebanon to Boswell Park at 10 a.m. At 4 p.m., the festival moves to the Munger Moss Motel for a celebration of its 75th anniversary in Lebanon and the 50th anniversary of its ownership by Ramona Lehman and her late husband Bob.

Click here to learn more about the Camp Joy and the historic cabin. 

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