Wah-Bah Shik-Ki was the name the Indians gave the river, it meant “pure white” The French arrived at the shores of the river and called it “Quabache” Next the settlers spelled it Wabash. Indians created many villages along the banks. Fur Traders, Missionaries and French explorers turn it into a great trading route which linked to the lower Great Lakes and the Missippi River. George Rogers Clark defeated the British, and took hold of the Northwest Territory.
The river was not only a site where there were War’s and bloodshed. At New Harmony the “Rappites” a religious group forms a colony on the lower Wabash. They only stayed about 10 years; they sold their holdings to Robert Owen. He them started a new colony based on education and science. His colony was short-lived because of the concept of public schools.
The Wabash river is slow and muddy and has drained much of Indiana’s fertile farmland.
On the upper end of the Wabash is very sallow with many log jams clogging the river and making navigation of the river is very dangerous.
Major tributaries of the Wabash River include:
Salamonie River (Indiana)
Little River (Indiana)
Mississinewa River (Indiana)
Eel River (Indiana)
Tippecanoe River (Indiana)
Sugar Creek (Indiana)
White River (Indiana)
Patoka River (Indiana)
Vermilion River (Illinois and Indiana)
Embarras River (Illinois)
Little Wabash River (Illinois)
Wildcat Creek (Indiana)
Cities and towns along the Wabash River include: