Friday, October 9, 2009

Shabo Mekaw

My series of Lewis County wildflowers has brought up some questions; the most common of which is: where is this place? No one has ever heard of it, even in Kentucky. There is really nothing there, except for a few farms, lots of trees, and LOTS of rocks. It's at the edge of the Appalachian plateau, among an area of hills called the Knobs. The 60 acres that I'm fortunate enough to call mine is a place called SHABO MEKAW, which is Shawnee for "end of the trail". I suppose this name comes from the fact that it lies in the bend of the Kinneyconnick Creek, and so is bounded by water on three sides. Kinneyconnick is also a Shawnee word, but I have no idea of the translation. A man named Ken Lobitz, now deceased, built the redwood cabin and planted the acres of white pines up by the field and pond; apparently it was to be a tree farm, but I'm happy that no one ever harvested them. Someone commented that it was like Oz, and I have to agree, because it is in fact quite a magical place. Here's a brief tour.

Looking down at Kinneyconnick Creek from what I guess you could call the side yard; some might call it more of a cliff.

Looking up the creek from the "Swirl Hole", a very wide and deep pool right below the cabin. You can see a bit of our little "beach" on the right side.

This is a view of the pond from the ex-blueberry field. Unfortunately, the blueberry idea didn't pan out- they died.

A telephoto view of the field from the hill on the other side of the creek. The pines are directly behind the field.

Another view, from along the the creek in the other direction from the cabin. This one shows the bank of the island, which is also part of the property. The creek splits and goes around it, then comes back together further downstream.

Again, from the top of the hill across the creek, here is part of where the creek goes around the property. I couldn't get a view of the entire curve, because my wings are in the shop.

The log house in it's present state of progress. The floor joists are almost all in, just a couple more to go. After that, the doors and windows can be put in, and it will start to look more like an actual house. Eventually, the logs will be sandblasted and coated with waterproofing.

Back view of the log house.

Here are both cabins; the one on the right is the original redwood cabin built by Ken Lobitz fifty-some years ago. It has undergone a great amount of restoration, including a new roof and complete overhaul of the stone fireplace and chimney. The long range plan is to one day connect them with a middle room.

Arlo says, "Wait, wait, where ya goin'?" I will post future progress as it's made. Come back any time.


  1. Except for the pines this reminds me of the Ozarks in Arkansas I spent the first ten years of my life in. Beautiful place.
    Nice having a day off from school??

  2. Shabo Mekaw is actually my girl Pasquina's African heritage name! Copyrited, patent pending!

  3. Michael, I've never been to Arkansas, but if it looks like this, I'll have to visit. And YES, it's wonderful to have a day off; unfortunately, they make these days much shorter than the regular ones!

  4. Rondell, that's really surprising. Where would your friend have come upon a Shawnee name? Do you know how she found it?

  5. I think she was like listening to Shabba Ranks on the radio and came up with her new name.

  6. thanks for such gorgeous photos of fall!

  7. This looks like a little piece of heaven. Absolutely breathtaking.

  8. Sharmon, loved the pictures of Shabo Mekaw. A piece of heaven on earth and I know it's a labor of love restoring it. Your pictures remind me of my childhood on Kinny; we had a fishing camp on lower Kinny and later one just a mile or so down stream from Shabo Mekaw on some property owned by Henry & Ruth Bate. Beautiful area.


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