Main Street - south side
Canton, Oxford County, Maine

a service of
V. F. Thomas Co. - 167 Thorne Mountain Road - Canton, Maine  04221

(updated 7 June 2019)

Welcome to the Main Street (south side) web page

The purpose of this page is to trace the history of the property along the south side of Main Street in Canton, Oxford County, Maine, from the center of town toward North Hartford.

You can help by e-mailing scanned images, photocopies of photographs, or especially photographs themselves (they will be returned promptly) to or by traditional mail to “Canton Tours” at the address at the top of this page..

A little work by each of us will save a lot of work for all of us.

Map U2, Lots 38-41A The first two parcels on the south side of Main Street, U2:38 and U2:39, are currently devoid of any structures and easily may be thought to be a single lot, but other than their lack of structures and that they currently have a single owner, Malcolm Ray, their histories are quite different as you can read below.

Map U2, Lot 38 218:503 — 19 April 1889
William G. Harlow to John S. Harlow
“a certain lot or parcel of land with the buildings thereon (known as the Harlow Block)”
252:342 — 4 December 1897
John S. Harlow to Ansel G. Staples
“a certain lot or parcel of land with the buildings thereon known as the Virgin Store”

S. B. Ellis store
(image provided by the Vashaw family in loving memory of Norman A. Vashaw)
On 21 June 1910, Simeon B. Ellis purchased the corner lot and the extant store from Edith E. Ellis and M. Louise Staples (book 310, page 396), daughters of Ansel G. and Rosanna W. Staples. The sign on the front of the store advertised “Dry and Fancy Goods” (left end of sign) and “Boots Shoes Clothing” (right end).
On 2 August 1943, following Simeon B. Ellis's death, three of his four heirs (widow Edith S. Ellis, son Herschel S. Ellis, and son Ansel S. Ellis) sold their right to the lot and store to the fourth heir (son Lyman Ellis) (460:172). About two and a half years later, on 1 April 1946 to be exact, Lyman sold (482:149) two thirds of his interest to his brothers, giving each of the three brothers a one-third interest. The lot and store remained the equally shared property of the brothers until 29 January 1965, when Ansel and Lyman sold (638:260) their two thirds to brother Herschel, giving him full ownership. On 30 June 1975, Herschel sold everything to two couples: George M. and Patricia A. Conant (862:156–157), and Clifford E. and Joanne M. Conant (862:154–155), each couple receiving one undivided half.
[insert Conants' Country store image] It was during the time of Conant ownership that the store became known as Conants' Country Store.
[insert Pete's Store image and fire image] The two Conant couples sold (929:10 and 929:11) their two undivided halves on 17 February 1977 to Norwood and Beverly McDaniel. On 16 March 1979 the McDaniels sold (1026:112) the lot and the store to Peter John Jasper, Winston B. Jasper, and Joan E. Jasper. Peter Jasper subsequently sold (1305:103; 8 March 1985) his share to Winston B. and Joan E. Jasper. During the Jasper years the store became known as Pete's Market, and also the building met its end by fire in 1985.
[insert image of current empty lot] The Jaspers conveyed the property to the Town of Canton by quitclaim deed (2464:132–133; 28 May 1997), and on 14 August 2014, the land that had been the home of the Harlow Block, Virgin Store, S. B. Ellis store, Conants' Country Store, and Pete's Market became the property of Malcolm Ray, who is the current (2017) owner.

Map U2, Lot 39
early post office
(image provided by the Vashaw family in loving memory of Norman A. Vashaw)
On 1 July 1915, Archer B. Moore and Roy Moore sold (335:305) to George W. Moore a parcel “bounded on the north by [Main Street], on the east by property of Edith Ellis, on the south by the stream flowing through [Canton] from Lake Anasagunticook, and on the west by the public passage leading from said street to the railway station, together with the building thereon which is now and has been for many years occupied as the Canton post office“.

Map U2, Lot 40
12 Main Street
[insert image of store] On 9 August 1861, Otis Hayford sold (125:257) this parcel to Simeon Brett.

Map U2, Lot 41 [insert image] [Deed details]

Map U2, Lot 41A [insert image] [Deed details]