On James Keelaghan‘s 1990 recording “Small Rebellions,” he includes a song called “Rebecca’s Lament” about the relationship between Rebecca Galloway and the native leader Tecumsah. The song is riveting; James plays it nearly every time he visits Ohio and makes an apology for mispronouncing the city of Chillicothe. In Ohio, it’s pronounced “CHILL-uh-KOTH-ey,” but James didn’t know that when he wrote the song and pronounced the name “CHILL-uh-coat.”
At a show in the fall of 1999 at the now defunct Brick Alley Theatre in Cleveland, James introduced the song and told the story of the cabin where the last part of the story took place. Apparently, the Galloway cabin still stands behind the K-Mart in Xenia, Ohio. We remembered all of this except the Xenia part.
On December 30, 1999, we were returning to Ohio by car from a trip to North Carolina listening to “Small Rebellions.” Remembering the story of the cabin (or, at least, some of the story), we took a slight detour to Chillicothe in search of the cabin. We roamed around the town until we found a state park. The ranger didn’t know anything about Rebecca Galloway and Tecumsah in the Chillicothe area.
We drove around a bit more and enjoyed the sights in Chillicothe, but considered our pilgrimage to be a failure. After a bite to eat, we decided to head home. It was getting late, and we still had several more hours to drive before we got home.
On the way out of town, we passed a K-Mart. We drove around it, looking for a cabin. This is what we saw:
As you can see, there was no cabin in sight.
On the drive home, John suddenly remembered that it was Xenia, not Chillicothe, where Rebecca’s cabin was supposedly located! We resolved to continue our quest another time.