The Great Shamokin Path

The Great Shamokin Path was one of the most important avenues of connection for Native communities on both sides of the Alleghenies for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years before European settlement in Pennsylvania. The Path began at the Native population center of Shamokin, at the confluence of the Western and Northern branches with the Mainstem of the Susquehanna river, and continued over the Allegheny front through the Great Island (Cawichowane), Bald Eagle, Chinklacamoose, and the Big Spring, to the town of Kittaning.

In the eighteenth century, the Path continued to serve as a conduit for people, trade goods, and culture. In 1772, the Moravian Native congregation traveled over the Great Shamokin Path on their way to Kittaning and Ohio. From July 9–11, the congregation camped along a branch of the Path that led along the Moshannon Creek [Delaware: Moshannaunk, elk-river-place]. A young boy, baptized Nathan, died and was buried there. A small stream near his grave came to be called "Moravian Run" in remembrance of the Native congregation.

Explore the map below to locate various Native communities and stopping places along the Path. Click on the red "Moravian Run" map point to listen to an eighteenth-century soundscape of the area, and to view a modern-day video of the Moshannon Creek.

 

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