- French Creek (Allegheny River)
French Creek is a
tributaryof the Allegheny Riverin northwestern Pennsylvaniaand western New Yorkin the United States. "Creek" is somewhat of a misnomer, as it is generally considered to be a river, which is reflected in earlier names for the stream.
It was known to Native Americans of the region as "Onenge", meaning "Otter." This was corrupted into English as the "Venango River". A settlement at its mouth was likewise called "Venango," and is the site of present-day
Franklin, Pennsylvania. In the 18th century, the stream was an important link between the Great Lakesand the Ohio River. The French built Fort Presque Isleand Fort Le Boeufto control the portagefrom the stream's headwaters to Lake Erie. They called the stream "Riveraux aux Boeufs" (Meaning "River with Buffalo"). George Washingtonwas sent to deliver a message to these forts in 1752. Not knowing the stream's name, he gave it the present name of "French Creek" because of the nearby French forts. [http://www.crawfordcopa.com/history/FrenchCk.html]
It is formed near
French Creek, New Yorkand extends for a length of 117 miles (188 km) with a drainage area of 1,270 square miles (3,289 km²). It joins the Allegheny River near Franklin, Pennsylvania. The watershed area includes parts of Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Mercer Counties in Pennsylvania as well as Chautauqua County, New York.
French Creek is considered one of the most biologically diverse streams east of the
Mississippi Riverproviding habitant to over 80 species of fish and 26 species of freshwater mussels. Environmental concerns have been raised in recent years. One major contaminant is chlorinefrom municipal sewage plants along the water course. A new wastewater treatment plant was recently constructed in Meadville, Pennsylvaniato lessen the impact of this contaminant to the creek’s wildlife. Agricultural runoff is also an issue, especially in the lower reaches.
Cities and towns along its course include:
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania
List of New York rivers
List of Pennsylvania rivers
* [http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/current/?type=flow U.S. Geological Survey: PA stream gaging stations]
* [http://www.postgazette.com/sports/outdoors/20030309moyer0309p5.asp Outdoors: French Creek honored for its beauty, history, Pittsburgh Post Gazette]
* [http://www.crawfordcopa.com/history/FrenchCk.html French Creek from Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania]
* [http://ns1763.ca/remem/7yw-timeline-w.html French and Indian War timeline] describes the central role of French Creek
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