After four months of restoration by a dedicated crew of volunteers, the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society dedicated the last surviving Camp Joy cabin Saturday in a ceremony at the Lebanon Route 66 Festival in Route 66-themed Boswell Park, the cabin’s new home.
The cabin, thought to be about 90 years old and now furnished as it would have been when new, never looked better as dozens peeked inside during the festival’s five hours.
About 100 gathered in front of the cabin for the late-morning ceremony, which featured plaque presentations to businessman Lee Sing, who donated the cabin to the Route 66 Society, and Mayor Jared Carr and City Administrator Mike Schumacher, whose support made the project possible. Bruce Owen of the Route 66 Society, who was the driving force behind the project, was surprised with a plaque.
Volunteers who dedicated the most time to the project were recognized.
Camp Joy, located across from where the Cowan Civic Center is today, was founded by the Spears family in 1927, one year after the gravel road through Lebanon was designated Route 66. All four children of Joy Spears Fishel, who was named after Camp Joy, and several other Spears and Fishel relatives were present for the ceremony. All got their first look at the cabin since work was completed.
“Thank you, Lebanon, so much for your generosity,” Craig Fishel told the crowd.
State Sen. Sandy Crawford and State Rep. Suzie Pollock were among the speakers.
Here are photos from the cabin’s big day.