About the wabash river

about the wabash lafayette indianaThe Wabash River is the official river of the State of Indiana.

Paul Dresser’s “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” is the official song of the State of Indiana.

The name Wabash comes from French/Native American Ouabache or Wah-ba-shika-ki that translates roughly as “clear water over white stones.”

The Wabash River was formed between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago. Meltwater from retreating Wisconsin glaciation formed Lake Maumee near what is now Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lake Maumee may have been nearly as large as Lake Erie. Its southwest perimeter was contained by a landform known as the Fort Wayne Moraine, which was a high ridge of glacial debris.  This moraine eventually collapsed and the resulting deluge formed the Wabash River valley.

The Wabash as we know it today is about 475 miles long, running from a point near Fort Recovery in Ohio to its confluence with the Ohio River near the juncture of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The segment below the Huntington Dam is the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the eastern portion of the United States. This is particularly significant because the health of a river’s ecosystem depends on the water flow. This long unimpeded flow is responsible for an incredible diversity of over one-hundred species that inhabit the Wabash River today.