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West Central Edition
The name Wabash derives from the Shawnee word "waapaahšiiki." The word means, "It shines white," in that language. The name is in reference to the river's limestone bottom. The bottom shone white in the sunlight in the time that the Shawnee roamed the lands surrounding the river. Since then, the river has silted up and in most places; the river bottom no longer "shines white." The French, who were the first European settlers in Indiana, called it the "Ouabache." The English spelling became Wabash, the name used today. The Wabash is just a little over five hundred miles long, beginning in Ohio near a little town called Fort Recovery.