We are grateful to the Tulalip History Project, the video production unit of the Hibulb Cultural Center, who produced a Hibulb Conversations video featuring our Tangled Web of History Project. The video features project historian Kyle Walker, who shares new history about Mary Shelton-Brown, a member of the “high born” Whea-Kadim family of the Coast Salish Snohomish Tribe.

Mary, whose Lushootseed name was Ge-Gah-Ha, was born in 1852 at a seasonal camp in Holmes Harbor and was a favorite “aunt” of Chief William Shelton. Mary and her Portuguese husband, Joseph Brown, settled on a centuries-old site of a Snohomish village known as TSEHT-skluhks (“ragged nose”), now called Sandy Point. Together, they built the first maritime center on South Whidbey.
Mary was favorably known among the early settler-colonists of South Whidbey. She was also a prominent caretaker for members of her tribe, tending to those who remained on the island rather than relocating to the Tulalip Reservation.

Learn more about the Tangled Web of History Project on our website: https://southwhidbeyhistory.org/tangled-web/