The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Shenandoah River

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Mouth: junction with Potomac River, near Harpers Ferry, WV, in Jefferson County
Source: junction of North Fork of the Shenandoah River and South Fork of the Shenandoah River near Front Royal, VA

Topo Map (Head)
Topo Map (Mouth)

The Shenandoah River of Virginia and West Virginia flows northeastward through the Great Appalachian Valley, or the Shenandoah Valley, in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. The river is the subject of the folk song "Oh, Shenandoah!"

The name "Shenandoah" is apparently of Native American origin. Some sources claim "Shenandoah" is a phrase from the Senedo tribe, who once lived in the area of the river, that means "Daughter of the Moon" or "Daughter of the Stars." Others claim the Cherokee named the river in tribute to a visiting Iroquois Chief named Skenandoah. Others believe the name is a variant of the Iroquois word "Skahentowane," which means "Great Meadow" or "Big Flat Place". Still another possibility is an Indian word, Schinhandowi, from an unidentified source-tribe, that means "river through the spruces."

Variant Name(s)

Chanador River, Chenandoah River, Gerando, Shanandore River, Shanedore River, Shanidore Creek, Shannondoah River, Sharantow River, Shawan River, Shenando River, Shenandoa, Shennando River, Sherandoch River, South River, Tschanator River