Historical Marker #31 in Greenup County notes the location of Shannoah, a Shawnee Indian village that existed on the south bank of the Ohio River. The area has also been known as Lower Shawneetown.
Although Shannoah was an eighteenth century Native American village, it developed on what was once the site of a much earlier Fort Ancient community. Archaeological excavations have located items from both time periods.
Shannoah was established about 1730 on the south side of the Ohio River, opposite of where the Scioto River empties into the Ohio. Several different tribes, including the Seneca and Lenape from north of the Ohio lived in Shannoah. It was, however, primarily a Shawnee village. A larger Shawnee settlement on the north side of the Ohio River provided a network of trade and communication with those who lived at Shannoah. After Shannoah was abandoned in the late 1750s, the community on the north bank remained for a number of years before it, too, was deserted.
French soldiers and fur traders were some of the first to mention Shannoah in their records. Fearing potential Shawnee alliances with the British, and thus incursions into their claimed lands, the French attempted to persuade the Shawnee to move their communities farther north but were not successful.
English adventurers did, however, eventually make their way to Shannoah. In 1751, early explorer Christopher Gist noted in his journal: "Set out...to the Mouth of Sciodoe Creek opposite to the Shannoah Town, here we fired our Guns to alarm the Traders, who soon answered, and came and ferryed Us over to the Town — The Land about the Mouth of Sciodoe Creek is rich but broken fine Bottoms upon the River & Creek. The Shannoah Town is situate upon both Sides the River Ohio, just below the Mouth of Sciodoe Creek, and contains about 300 Men, there are about 40 Houses on the S Side of the River and about 100 on the N Side, with a Kind of State-House of about 90 Feet long, with a light Cover of Bark in which they hold their Councils."
Perhaps it was this increased contact with whites on the Ohio River that persuaded the Shawnee to abandon Shannoah. Whatever the reason, by 1760, the Shawnee had consolidated near present day Chillicothe, Ohio. Other evidence of these Indian towns are found on John Filson's 1784 map of Kentucky, which notes an "Old Shawnee Town" on the north side of the Ohio River where it and the Scioto River join.