Many veterans of the American Revolutionary staked claims along the river as payment for their services during the war. The river valley was nicknamed Rogue's Harbor because besides the veterans a lot of ne'er do wells were also attracted to it..
The Green River was canalized in 1842. Four dams and locks were built on the Green river and one lock and dam was built on its tributary, Barren River, to create a navigable channel all the way to Bowling Green.
One Native American tribe, the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky, continues to inhabit the Green River area.
The river is an important transportation artery for the coal industry in Mulhenberg County and the aluminum industry of Henderson County.
- Benke, Arthur C.; Cushing, Colbert E. (2005). Rivers of North America. Academic Press. p. 405. ISBN 978-0-12-088253-3. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). "Green River". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0.
- Gorin-Smith, Betty Jane (2006). Morgan Is Coming: Confederate Raiders in the Heartland of Kentucky. Louisville, Kentucky: Harmony House Publishers. ISBN 978-1-56469-134-7.