Chillisquaque Creek

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Chillisquaque Creek
Chillisquaque Creek looking downstream north of Washingtonville.JPG
Chillisquaque Creek upstream of Washingtonville
Origin confluence of East Branch Chillisquaque Creek and Middle Branch Chillisquaque Creek in Montour County, Pennsylvania

West Branch Susquehanna River in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

length_mi = 19.96
Basin area 112 sq mi (290 km2)
Left tributaries East Branch Chillisquaque Creek, Mud Creek
Right tributaries Middle Branch Chillisquaque Creek, West Branch Chillisquaque Creek

Chillisquaque Creek is a 19.96-mile-long (32.12 km)[1] tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River in Montour and Northumberland counties, Pennsylvania in the United States.

A part of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, the Chillisquaque Creek watershed drains parts of four counties (the two mentioned and Columbia County and Lycoming County). The creek flows southwest in a valley of the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians, through sandstone, shale, and limestone.

As of 2000, the creek and its 112 square miles (290 km2) watershed are rural, with 67.9% of the watershed given to agriculture and 29.5% covered by forest and a population of 6,620.


Chillisquaque Creek near Washingtonville

According to Donehoo, "Chillisquaque" is a corruption of the Shawnee name Chililisuagi, meaning "place of the snow birds". There was a Shawnee village near the mouth of the creek from about 1728, and it is mentioned in the journals of several early colonial visitors to the area. It is Shallyschohking in the earliest record of the creek and village, a 1732 petition from the Shawnee to the Province of Pennsylvania government. In 1737 Conrad Weiser wrote it as Zilly-squachne as he crossed the creek and traveled through the village on his way north to the Iroquois capital Onondaga. In 1754 it was Chelisquaqua, and Scull's map of 1759 has Chillisquaquy. By 1770 (when the first white settlers arrived) another Scull map has the current name.[2] All these are variations of "Chalakatha", one of the five Shawnee tribal bands and the name of the village where that band resided, usually rendered in English as "Chillicothe".[3]

The name "Chillisquaque Creek" is unique in the USGS Geographic Names Information System and on its maps of the United States.[4] Today the creek has given its name to East Chillisquaque and West Chillisquaque townships, as well as the unincorporated hamlet of Chillisquaque in the latter township, all in Northumberland County. The creek's major tributaries include the County Line Branch Chillisquaque Creek, as well as the East, Middle, and West Branches.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Gazetteer of Streams (PDF), November 2, 2001, retrieved July 10, 2014 
  2. ^ Donehoo, Dr. George P. (1999) [1928]. A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania (PDF) (Second Reprint Edition ed.). Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Wennawoods Publishing. p. 290. ISBN 1-889037-11-7. Retrieved 2006-11-09. ISBN refers to a 1999 reprint edition, URL is for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission's web page of Native American Place names, quoting and citing the book 
  3. ^ For "Chillisquaque" being a variation of "Chillicothe", see for example Michael N. McConnell, A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774 (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), p. 14.
  4. ^ Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey (August 2, 1979). "Geographic Names Information System Feature Detail Report: East Branch Chillisquaque Creek". Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. "2007 General Highway Map Montour County and Northumberland County Pennsylvania" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-06-01. 

External links[edit]