The Louie family


Mary Louie was born near the confluence of the Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers, near modern-day Carnation, sometime shortly after 1800. As a member of the Snoqualmie Tribe, she was part of an extensive network of villages up and down the Snoqualmie River valleys.

In the 1850s, the Snoqualmies and white settlers battled for the fertile farm land. Mary Louie’s husband and son were killed. She fled to the Cedar River, which was a gathering place for many tribes. There she met and married a Duwamish man known as Charlie Louie.

The couple resettled on the east shore of Lake Sammamish, in the late 1850s. Charlie died at an early age from tuberculosis, but Mary and their son Johnny continued to live at the lake. Johnny often worked in the Issaquah-area hop field. His mother was known as “Aunt Mary” to the many white people who bought her handmade rugs or used her native remedies for illness.

When she was well over 100, Mary took on the task of raising Johnny’s children. His daughter Dwenar grew up happy on the lake, helping her grandmother and fishing and traveling in her own small canoe. When she was a young girl, Johnny took her into Seattle to get her first store-bought dress and have her photograph taken. He then took her photo and traveled across the state to find her a suitable husband.

He finally settled on a handsome young man living on the Yakima Reservation, Joseph Forgue. Once they were married, Joseph and Dwenar split their time between the two sides of the mountains. They spent many years in Monohon, and today two of their daughters still live on the East Sammamish Plateau.