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Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes

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avatar Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes
May 11, 2012 06:25PM

Amy Rhoan, Yosemite – Mono Lake Paiute in Yosemite in front of umacha


Last week Yosemite and Mono Lake Indians lost a treasure in the local Native Community when a icon of Yosemite, Amy Rhoan, died.

Amy Rhoan

Amy Harrison was born on Jan. 29, 1910, a fullblooded Paiute, to Ida and Willie Harrison in Mono Lake. She spent her childhood around Mono Lake, particularly around the Farrington ranch area that was owned by her grandfather, Bridgeport Tom. Later in life, she attended government boarding schools at Greenville and Fort Bidwell. After completing school, she worked as a housekeeper at the Tioga Lodge, which is near Lee Vining. In 1929, she attended the Yosemite Indian Field Days where she met her husband, Alvin Rhoan.


Al Rhoan and Amy Rhoan, with their baby, in Yosemite


They married in 1930 and moved into the old Indian Village near Indian Creek in Yosemite. It was there that their first child, Joseph Rhoan, was born. In 1932, they moved to the new Indian Village located near Yosemite Lodge where the remainder of their children, Finn, Patrick, and Beatrice, were born.


Amy in Yosemite


Amy worked for the Curry Company cleaning tents at Yosemite Lodge, and also worked in the laundry room. Amy and Alvin moved to Wawona where she worked as a maid at the Wawona Hotel until her retirement in 1989. When her husband retired in 1965, the couple moved to Ahwahnee where she resided until her death on May 4.


Amy courageously protesting in Yosemite National Park with her family for the preservation of Native American Indian sites in Yosemite.


Amy is preceded in death by her husband Alvin Rhoan; eldest son, Joseph Rhoan Sr.; and grandchildren, Bernadine Mattson and Ronald Rhoan. Amy is survived by son, Finn Rhoan and his wife Betty of Mariposa; her daughter Beatrice Wilsey of Ahwahnee; and son Patrick Rhoan and his wife Natalie of Mariposa; half-sister Flora Murphy of Schurz, Nev.; and, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and three great, great-grandchildren.


Amy at Tenaya Lake. Amy recalls as a child that the Yosemite Indians, the Paiutes, were forced to stay at Tenaya Lake after dark. After the Indians finished working they would camp at Tenaya Lake. They would camp at Tenaya Lake before housing was created for some chosen Indian families by the Park.


Amy Rhoan was an elder of the America Indian Council of Mariposa, who later changed their name to the Southern Sierra Miwuks, upon doing hearing this Amy said “What happened to the Paiutes?” Amy knew that the Paiute people were the most important tribe in Yosemite.



Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Paiute colony of Ahwanhee - Dr. Lafayette H. Bunnell.
avatar Re: Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes
May 11, 2012 06:37PM
Normally when i see something you post I expect it to be spam and something that I won't give a shit about, but in this case, i was wrong. Thank you for posting this and the pics of Mrs. Rhoan. RIP Amy Rhoan...

Seriously though, can anyone imagine what you would see if you lived to be a 102 years old?

And finally, it is nice to see that you took the death of a lovely lady and you added in your own political slant. Way to capitalize on the death of a good person for your own gain...
avatar Re: Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes
May 11, 2012 10:59PM
No one is forcing you to read anything. I could care less if you read or posted on any HISTORICAL Yosemite article I post. Maybe if you learned the real history of Yosemite you would know what is really going on. Yosemite is more than just a place for you to hike...it was the homeland of the Paiute people.



Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Paiute colony of Ahwanhee - Dr. Lafayette H. Bunnell.
Re: Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes
May 12, 2012 12:34AM
RIP, Mrs. Rhoan. I worked with Patrick in Wawona over 40 years ago.
avatar Re: Amy Rhoan; Iconic Yosemite Native American Indian passes
May 12, 2012 03:01PM
RIP, Mrs. Rhoan - The Paiute Nation has a proud history in the West (but tragic like many Native American peoples). 152 years ago today was the 1st battle of the Pyramid Lake War between the Northern Paiutes and a volunteer army from Vriginia City NV along the Truckee River near Pyramid Lake. The Paiutes ambushed the White settlers who were invading Tribal land and routed them despite the large numerical disadvantage. They were mostly a peaceful people but would band together and vehemently defend their territory when threatend. The causulties on the Paiute side were never determined because they never left behind a wounded or dead warrior.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2012 03:07PM by boomtown.
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