The Saint-Louis family
The ancestor of the Saint-Louis family, so well known in our region, was born in Sorel. After completing his classical studies in the 1850s, Albert – for that was his name – went to Port Albert, in Western Canada, for work. There he met Kate McLaughlin, whom he married, and the young couple came to settle in Saint-Jovite.
Albert was a farmer, and his land was on Rang 8; their home was built on what became the Gray Rocks landing strip. In addition to working the farm, Albert was the secretary and mastercantor of the parish church. The family grew and the couple had 10 children.
When one of their sons, Charles, born in 1894, died at the age of three, Albert and Kate decided to give the name to one of their later children, born on May 19, 1903. He was known by the family as “Charles the second”. He married Dorina Tassé on May 26, 1928. The family that they created played an important role in my youth.
Charles and Dorina took over the family farm. Charles was also a logger, the Wheeler family’s handyman, and a labourer for Joseph Ryan. He was also a barkeep before launching himself into the restaurant business. In 20 years, Donna would give birth to 11 children: Marcel (1928), Raymond (1930), Claude (1931), Guy (1932), Marielle (1933), Denise (1937), Jacques (1940), Lise (1942), Huguette (1943), Monique (1946) and Ginette (1948).
In 1946, Charles and Dorina Saint-Louis bought the restaurant called the Snack Bar from their brother-in-law; it was located on the shore of Lac Mercier, in front of the hotel which at the time was called the Chalet du lac. When I started school, at the sisters of Sainte-Croix convent, we were living on Mont Tremblant’s North Side.
The road called Chemin Duplessis existed, but it was a dirt road and an 18-km trip to get to school. As a result, I had to have lunch at school. My parents didn’t consider a sandwich adequate to keep me alert during the long afternoon at school, so they looked for a solution. My mother arranged with Mme Saint-Louis that I would join their family at lunchtime to share their meal with them.
My mother warned Mme Saint-Louis that I was a bit fussy about eating and not to be surprised if I didn’t eat much. So for the first time in my life I found myself at a table where there were more children than adults. A table where the selection that day was… whatever was on your plate. Everybody talked, although politely and in a disciplined manner, and it was over in 30 minutes.
As an only child, I was in heaven to be accepted into this big family. And to my mother’s great surprise, she learned from Mme Saint-Louis that I ate everything and asked for more. This arrangement continued until I left for high school in Sainte- Agathe-des-Monts. Charles Saint-Louis continued to develop his business.
The family, which operated and maintained the beach in front of the hotel, acquired nearby houses, which they rented out. They even bought the presbytery to transform it into a restaurant called L’abbé du Nord. In 1960, Claude and Raymond developed Mont Plaisant, a ski area, right in the middle of the Village. I skied Mont Plaisant to do slalom training when I returned from competitions.
In 1968, the hotel La Porte Rouge was taken over in joint ownership by their son Raymond, their daughter Huguette and her husband Guy Dubois. In 1978, Marc and Christine, Raymond’s children, took over the reins and retained that role until the property was bought by the Ville de Mont- Tremblant.
Gilles, Guy’s son, operated “les entreprises GLC”, now taken over by his son Frédéric, thus forming the fifth generation of entrepreneurs in that family. It should be noted, as well, that the Saint-Louis family is still involved in the community. Charles (father) and Claude (son) have been school board commissaires d’école and church wardens. Jacques (son) was the secretary treasurer of the municipality of Mont-Tremblant and municipal councillor.
Claude and Raymond have also served as municipal councillors. Nowadays, the Saint-Louis family continues to evolve in Mont-Tremblant: the story is not over and continues to be written.
By the same author: Gaston Gervais: he did it his way (Click the image below)
Peter Duncan46 Posts
Membre de l’équipe canadienne de ski alpin de 1960 à 1971, skieur professionnel de 1971 à 1979 et champion américain en 1965, Peter Duncan a participé aux Jeux olympiques de 1964 à Innsbruck ainsi qu’à ceux de 1968 à Grenoble. Intronisé au Temple de la renommée du ski au Canada, au Panthéon des sports du Québec et récipiendaire de la médaille du gouverneur général, Peter a longtemps été commentateur de ski à la télévision./ Peter Duncan is a Canadian former alpine skier who competed in the 1964 and the 1968 Winter Olympics. He was named to the Canadian National Alpine Team in 1960 at the age of 16 and competed at the national level for the next 10-years until 1970 before retiring.