Evans, Thomas Frye Lewis
The Very Reverend Thomas Frye Lewis Evans 1846 – 1919
Marie Stewart (Bethune) 1850 – 1903
Emily Elizabeth (Bethune) 1866 – 1947
Cyril Lewis Evans 1882 – 1887
The Very Reverend Thomas Frye Lewis Evans served as a summer minister in Tadoussac for thirty-five years back between about 1884 and his death in 1919. He married Marie Stewart Bethune in 1874 and with her had five children, Basil (1873), Muriel (1877) Trevor (1879), Cyril (1882), and Ruby (1885).
Little is known about Marie except that she was said to have been a lively and engaging woman and usually called May. She married Lewis Evans in 1873 at the age of twenty-three. She is named Maria in her birth record, and Marie in the marriage index, (and Marie on her plaque). Her full name was Maria Stewart Bethune, born in 1850, the second of four children (all girls) of Strachan Bethune (1821 - 1910) and Maria MacLean Phillips (1826 - 1901). She died in 1903 and is buried in The Mount Royal Cemetery.
Included in that list of Marie’s children is Cyril who died at five years old. There is a small window in the back wall of the chapel that is dedicated to the memory of Cyril Lewis Evans. He died of hydrocephalus at the age of five. It is hard to imagine now how that tragedy played out, the little boy dying in 1887.
Hydrocephalus (sometimes called water on the brain) can cause brain damage as a result of fluid buildup. This can lead to developmental, physical, and intellectual impairments caused by Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which flows through the brain and spinal cord under normal conditions. Under certain conditions, the amount of this fluid in the brain increases if there is a blockage that prevents it from flowing normally, or if the brain produces an excess amount of it.
In the 1880s treatment for this condition was in its infancy, so it must have been a very difficult time for Cyril and his family. 6
After Marie’s death, the Dean married her cousin, Emily Elizabeth Bethune (1866 – 1947), and had one more child, Robert Lewis Evans (1911) when he was about sixty-five years old and Emily was forty-five.
This family was not connected to any of the other summer cottage families until son Trevor, and later son Lewis married into the Rhodes family and both had cottages in Tadoussac.
Dean Evans was the rector of St. Stephen's Church in Montreal, a church on Atwater Street, and stayed there for forty-six years. While there, he served as an Honourary Canon, Archdeacon, and then was named the fifth Dean of Montreal Diocese, but would only accept the position if he could stay at St. Stephen's and not move over to the Cathedral. In 1908 he was within a whisker of being elected Bishop. It was an actual split vote and they had to adjourn for three weeks to sort it out in typical Anglican political manoeuvring. They picked the other guy, John Craig Farthing. The Dean died in 1919. It is said that he had pneumonia, collapsed in the pulpit on a Sunday morning while delivering his sermon, and died a few days later.
Very few of Dean Lewis Evans’s writings remain but it is clear from them that he was a devoted churchman and that he had worked hard to help in the development of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. A school in the St. Henri district was named after him, and he was very insistent that all of the Anglican clergy should be able to speak French. In Tadoussac, he lived in what was then the furthest east Price house, the Beattie/Price house. It was built along with the other Price houses for the administrators of Price Brothers Lumber, but this one was lent to Dean Evans and he eventually acquired it by squatter’s rights. From him, it passed to his wife, Emily Elizabeth (Bethune) Evans, and then to their son, Lewis Evans, who sold it to James and Anne Beattie. The Dean had also owned a part of the tennis club property which he bought from the Price family, but he sold his portion to Jonathan Dwight and Mr Dwight sold it to the tennis club.
Dean Evans was an avid fisherman and actually had built for himself a small log cabin about nine miles up the Saguenay on the west side of the river at a place called Cap à Jack. It seemed he needed a cottage to get away from his cottage! He had a little powerboat called Minota which he would take up there towing a couple of nor'shore canoes to fish out of. One of the local men, André Nicolas, in speaking about the Dean, said he had seen photos of the fishing camp on the website, tidesoftadoussac.com, that grandson Tom Evans set up. He said that where Lewis Evans had his camp was, and still is, the best place on the river to catch sea trout. It is interesting, a hundred years later, to hear a local fisherman say that the Dean got it right!