Wabash is notable as claiming to be the first electrically lighted city in the world, which was inaugurated on March 31, 1880. However, closer inspection of the reference shows only the court house grounds were lighted. It is also home to the historic Eagles Theatre, Paradise Spring Treaty Grounds (1826), the Wabash and Erie Canal, Presbyterian Church (Wabash, Indiana) (1880), and Disciples of Christ Christian Church (Wabash, Indiana) (1865). A seasonal classic root-beer stand sits atop the man made geographic cut directly south of the Wabash river, and attracts locals to its traditional car-side service.
According to the 2010 census, Wabash has a total area of 9.128 square miles (23.64 km2), of which 8.89 square miles (23.02 km2) (or 97.39%) is land and 0.238 square miles (0.62 km2) (or 2.61%) is water.
The name Wabash derives from a Miami-Illinois term for "water over white stones." The Wabash post office has been in operation since 1839. The Miami name reflected the clarity of the river in Huntington County, Indiana where the river bottom is limestone.
Wabash used a new type of carbon arc light invented by Charles Brush in 1870. On March 31, 1880, four 3,000-candle power lamps were suspended from the top of the courthouse. Two telegraph wires ran from the lamps to the courthouse basement, where they were connected to a threshing machine to provide power