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Wabash River

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1 Wabash River on Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:53 pm

When the Wisconsin Glacier melted 14,000 years ago, part of the meltwaters formed the proglacial Lake Maumee, the ancestor to Lake Erie. Eventually the meltwaters overtopped a glacial moraine located near Fort Wayne, Indiana, and catastrophically drained southwestward in the Maumee Torrent. The torrent carved the wide alluvial valley that the Wabash flows through today.


A scene along the Wabash River, sketched in 1778 by Lt Governor Henry Hamilton on route to recapture Vincennes, Indiana.
The name "Wabash" is an English spelling of the French name for the river, "Ouabache." French traders named the river after the Miami Indian word for the river, waapaahšiiki, meaning "it shines white", "pure white", or "water over white stones".[1] The Miami name reflected the clarity of the river in Huntington County, Indiana where the river bottom is limestone.[2]
The Wabash was first mapped by French explorers to the Mississippi, including the sections now known as the Ohio River.[1] Although the Wabash is today considered a tributary of the Ohio, the Ohio was consider a tributary of the Wabash until the mid-18th century. This is because the French traders traveled north and south from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico via the Wabash; it served as a vital trade route for North American-French trade.[3]]


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