• John-Michael Scurio

Aesthetics of joy | Chapter 4

In the age of Instagram, how to influence joy is of utmost importance. www.iloveureka.com is my place to influence more joy and bring more awareness to the joy that is around us.

Our home, Eureka Springs, AR, is brimming with what one might call "aesthetics of joy." All around this wonderful town the beauty of the natural environment joyfully surrounds you and when you sprinkle-in the many things created by the residents and visitors - aesthetics of joy are everywhere here in Eureka.

In this blog series, we will explore these aesthetics of joy, understand them and learn more about why we are drawn to them. Most importantly, we will learn what they do for us.

Aesthetics of joy is a simple, powerful idea: our greatest source of joy is the world around us.

At one time or another, the words above have all been used to describe Eureka Springs, AR. As we explore these colorful descriptors and understand more about them, I encourage you, as you journey about in and around Eureka Springs, to take a joyspotting adventure to seek out these wonders that make our homes, our connections and our lives very joyful.

In Chapter Four, we will explore the next two aesthetics of joy - Transcendence and Magic.

A perfect example of the joy of transcendence is the wonderful transformation from The Joy Motel to The Wanderoo Lodge.

Originally opened as a campground in the late 1920’s by the resident Freeman family (who lived in the large Craftsman style home at the edge of the property) The Joy Motel, in Eureka Springs, AR was named “Camp Joy” and travelers who were touring the Ozarks were so delighted with the setting they started asking for a public bath & a pool. The pool, the largest in the state was completed in 1933 along with the first permanent structure, a changing room which was followed by clusters of charming rock cabins placed throughout Camp Joy.

Opened by Ray and Chloe Freeman in 1929 as “Camp Joy”, the property started out as little more than a campground.

The campground had a common shared shower and restroom, with some cabins having private toilets and showers. At that time all cabins had kitchenettes. People usually stayed for a week at a time and did their own housekeeping.

In the 1930’s more cabins were added and outdoor camping was eliminated. However, shared baths still existed. The swimming pool was built in 1932 as a privately owned public pool and is the only public pool Eureka Springs has ever had. The pool had showers and dressing rooms. The pool was cleaned and the water changed every two weeks until after World War II when filters and chlorine became a requirement.

“Camp Joy” became “Joy Court” right after World War II. The cabins were covered with rock siding and all were equipped with private baths and kitchenettes. Community baths were eliminated and the pool remained public. Beginning in 1960, a few of the cabins were torn down to make room for a new modern motel style structure right next to the pool.

Also at this time, the pool was closed to the public, the dressing rooms torn down, and the pool was converted to use by motel guests only. The name was again changed from “Joy Court” to “The Joy Motel.”

In the 1960’s and 70’s more cabins were eliminated and more motel style units were added. In 1967 the concession building was added and in 1973 the office was built. A new laundry building was built in 1985.

From 1999-2001, the owners started re-painting, cleaned up the property, and started working on landscaping. Queen size beds were added and the name was changed once again from “The Joy Motel” to “Mount Joy Lodge.” It was renamed “The Joy Motel” once again under new ownership in 2002. Metal roofs were eventually added and the pool was converted to the only saltwater pool in Eureka Springs.

In 2004 the Freeman family sold the motel and it went through a series of several owners in a short amount of time. Very little changed during this time, and the property was put up for sale once more in 2017. This caught the eye of Tim Freeman, the great-grandson of Ray and Chloe, who is a hotelier and grew up around the lodge. Tim bought the property with the idea of turning it into an outdoor adventure property, complete with a craft beer bar and kayak rentals. He renamed it “Wanderoo Lodge” in the fall of 2017.

The property is once again helping visitors re-connect with the outdoors and with the history of Eureka Springs. Ahhhhh, the joy of transcendence.

EVENT: "Feel The Joy" - A celebration of 90 years.
DATE: June 22, 2019
TIME: 11:00am to Midnight
Location: Wanderoo Lodge, 216 W. Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632

On June 22, 1929, Ray & Chloe Freeman made the first documented sale at Camp Joy for $4. Come join the Wanderoo Lodge in this wonderful event where we celebrate 90 years of joy and transcendence in Eureka Springs. Start off at the renovated Gravel Bar, right inside the very Craftsman style home that was Ray and Chloe's home back in the 1920s. Music starts at 4pm! Brian Martin performs from 4-6pm, 96 Miles Band from 6-9pm, and Becky Adams from 9pm-11:30pm. Come FEEL THE JOY!

As children, the world of magic blends seamlessly with the real one, but as we get older, we feel pressure to leave magic behind. I wonder why that is?

Human life is filled with such natural mysteries — the Aurora Borealis, magnetism, fog, lightening, wind, and the pulsing of fireflies. All of these things elicit a powerful sense that challenges our understanding of the world and opens us up to new magical discoveries. We can make our own magic with iridescent colors that shimmer and shift, reflective and prismatic materials, and other optical illusions.

Welcome to The Intrigue Theater in Eureka Springs, AR.

Where magic happens . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Box office - ( 855)446-8744


Eureka Springs is filled with aesthetics of joy from all things -- energy, abundance, freedom, harmony, play, surprise, transcendence and magic.

An emerging body of research shows that there is a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health. Yet nearly all the advice on how to find happiness ignores this fact.

Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee sheds light on the relationship between our environment and our emotions, and share inspiration for living a more joyful life through design.

In the (coming) final chapter of this blog-series, Chapter 5 will highlight the final two aesthetics of joy - celebration and renewal. Please check back for another wonderfully joyful posting about our beloved Eureka Springs.

Aesthetics of joy is a blog-series of five chapters where we seek to discover joy all around us. Joyspotting is real, it's a thing and there is much joy to spot and experience here in Eureka Springs. In this series. we will take you on a joyful journey around Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Take a moment to check out the different chapters in this blog-series on www.iloveureka.com


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