Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Seattle's First Love

Louisa Boren and David Denny

It was the perfect pioneer romance: Nineteen-year-old David Denny and 24-year-old Louisa Boren fell in love on the Oregon Trail in 1851, during the long trek from Illinois. They caught trout together at Soda Springs to feed the hungry party, then fended off a Shoshone brave's attempt to trade horses for Louisa.

Denny, the party's trailblazer, was the first to reach Puget Sound. Dispatched north to scout prospects, he sent back word: "Come at once." On January 23, 1853, David Maynard, the territory's first justice of the peace, joined David and Louisa in Seattle's first wedding ceremony. It kept things all in the family, or families; David's widowed father had already married Louisa's widowed mother, and his older brother was married to her older sister. The mind reels.

David staked out 160 acres at the settlement's wild north end, today's Seattle Center (hence Denny Way). Louisa planted roses, earning the sobriquet "sweet briar bride," and bore eight children. Optimistic and generous, David toiled tirelessly and invested eagerly in every new project-mining, farming, real estate, a sawmill, a streetcar line. He got rich, built a mansion, then lost it all in the Panic of 1893. He and Louisa retreated ever farther into the woods, first to today's Fremont, then to a tiny cabin at Licton Springs, where he died 50 years after they wed.

Love Your Heart!


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February also brings the celebration of Mardi Gras About Seattle Fat Tuesday followed by the season for reflection before Easter, called Lent. Lent Explained Ash Wednesday is February 17 this year which follows all the festivities the night before. Fat Tuesday is February 16 this year.

We wish you and your loved ones a deepening awareness of your love for one another. This month allows time for spiritual renewal and growing closer to the Greatest Love of All.

Read Our February Newsletter

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