Tom Evans was the son of William J. Evans and was born in Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire, Wales (United Kingdom) in 1832. He had come to America with his family ten years later and lived in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
When he was eighteen, Tom Evans left Wisconsin and sailed around Cape Horn landing at San Francisco. He headed for Placerville and got a job driving a stagecoach between Virginia City, Nevada and Nevada City, California. He next moved to Solano County where he bought property near the present day city of Dixon. After selling this property, he returned to San Francisco where he caught a ship bound for Santa Barbara but when he reached San Simeon he got off because, it is said, the coast reminded him of his home in Wales. Here Tom purchased some land from Don Juan Castro in 1868. Castro had become the owner of the northern portion of a Mexican Land Grant called Rancho Piedra Blanca, originally granted to Jose de Jesus Pico in 1840. The Evans ranch was just north of Piedras Blancas Light Station.
Tom then returned to Wisconsin where he married Mary Jarmon of Wales, Wisconsin, just a few miles from his home town of Waukesha. Tom’s brother, John, was already married to one of Mary’s sisters, Ann Jarmon. Tom and Mary returned to San Francisco by train in 1869, the year the transcontinental railroad was completed, and proceeded to San Simeon by steamer. They had six sons and two daughters at the ranch: John, Thomas, Katherine, Walter, Anabel, George, David and William. Their two daughters, Kate and Anabel, married Van Gordon brothers Vine and Earl, respectively. Two of their sons, Thomas and David, married Clemence sisters Evelyn and Helen, respectively.
Helen was David’s second wife and they had two sons, William and James. In the 1960s, James Evans, together with his partner Thomas Gerst, became majority owners of the Guthrie-Bianchini House (now the Cambria Historical Museum) at the corner of Burton Drive and Center Street. They are still the owners of the “Bucket of Blood Saloon” building (formerly the home of Painted Sky Recording Studio) at the corner of Center and Bridge Streets.
Mary Jarmon was on of fourteen children and she had seven sisters. After she married Tom and moved to the ranch, some of her sisters came from Wisconsin to visit. When Elizabeth Jarmon came to California in 1879, she married Captain Lorin V. Thondyke who was the head keeper at Piedras Blancas Light Station. They had two sons and Elizabeth died in 1886 when the boys were four and five years old. Another of Mary’s sisters, Margaret Jarmon, also came to visit in 1897 and she also married Captain Thorndyke, becoming his third wife. Martha Jarmon, yet another sister, came to visit in 1872 and married Benjamin F. Muma of San Simeon.
Mary Evans died in 1881 and Tom Evans died in 1919. Both are buried in the Cambria Community Cemetery.