Canton Town History
Oxford County, Maine

a service of
V. F. Thomas Co. - 183 Pleasant Street, Apartment 1 - Canton, Maine  04221
info@vfthomas.com

(updated 17 January 2017)

Welcome to a summary of the cultural history of the town of Canton, Oxford County, Maine. Each item below marks a highlight of Canton’s history. Sometimes a sentence or two is sufficient to convey what happened on a particular date. In other cases a link is provided to take you to a page with more information. Following most entries [and in brackets] is an abbreviated reference to the source of the information. The full citations are at the bottom of this page.

How you can help: If you have additional information (including/especially images) or corrections, please e-mail info@vfthomas.com, or send what you have by traditional mail to “Canton Cultural History c/o V. F. Thomas Co.; 183 Pleasant St., Apt. 1; Canton, Maine  04221”.


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






In addition to the dates and events below, there are webpages about Canton’s
      cemeteries;
      census records (1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 [in prep.]);
      deeds;
      genealogy;
      markers, monuments, and memorials;
      postal history; and
      tours.


1776 First persons of European origin arrived in Phipps Canada

1792 First persons of European origin arrived in the portion of Phipps Canada that is now Canton [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

26 February 1795 Phipps Canada, which then included what is now Canton, incorporated as Town of Jay [Attwood (1946), p. 172.]

1814 First person of European origin, Gustavus Hayford, settled in village portion of Canton; Hayford moved from Hartford, built first log cabin, first frame house (1814), first saw mill, and first grist mill [Vashaw (1995), p. 1.]; also built dam on Whitney Brook [Vashaw (1995), p. 102.]

1816 Second oldest house built, by Zeri Hayford [Vashaw (1995), p. 20.]

5 February 1821 Canton set off from Jay and incorporated [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

28 March 1821 First town meeting, at Canton Point school [Vashaw (1995), p. 1.]

15 May 1821 First post office opened [The Post Offices of Maine] (For more information about Canton’s postal history, click here.)

27 January 1823 Part of Canton set off to Jay [Attwood (1946), p. 120.] {repealed?}

3 February 1824 Part of Canton set off to Jay [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

28 February 1824 Part of Canton set off to Jay [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

4 March 1831 Part of Canton set off to Jay [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

1832 Otis Hayford house built; became Ed Goding home, gutted by fire and torn down, now parking lot of Pinnacle Health and Rehab [Vashaw (1995), p. 20.]

25 February 1839 Part of Hartford annexed [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

4 August 1842 Canton Mills post office opened [The Post Offices of Maine]

8 August 1850 Part of Hartford annexed [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

2 April 1859 Part of Canton set off to Peru [Attwood (1946), p. 120.]

24 February 1864 Canton (1) post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

24 February 1864 Canton (2) post office opened (and still in operation) [The Post Offices of Maine]

24 February 1864 Canton Mills post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

24 February 1864 Canton Point post office opened [The Post Offices of Maine]

1879 Canton Steam Mill constructed, by Gilbert brothers [Vashaw (1995), p. 101.]

20 December 1881 Gilbertville post office opened [The Post Offices of Maine]

17 January 1883 first issue of The Canton Telegraph

year ending 18 February 1891 The Annual Report of the Selectmen[,] Assessors and Overseers of the Poor, Treasurer and Supervisor of Schools of the Town of Canton reported that the town raised $50 to build a “hearse house” and $500 to build a road, but the report did not say which road. A town expense during the year had been $3.00 for a “bounty on crows”.
   The selectmen were B. C. Waite, C. T. Bonney Jr., and W W. Rose. The Clerk and Treasurer was M. Peabody, and the Overseer of the Town Farm was L. O. Virgin.
   J. C. Swasey, the Supervisor of Schools, included in his report notes about two articles that were in the warrant: “An article has been inserted in the warrant, to set off a part of district No. 3 (Canton Point district) and annex to district No. 1.” and “An article has also been inserted in the warrant, to see what action the town will take toward building or repairing the school house in district No. 4. This school house (if it may be called such) is in a deplorable condition and I do not consider it safe for scholors [sic] to sit in it six hours a day in cold weather. The house has been in this condition for a long time, thus the article in the warrant.”

6 March 1896 Dam on Whitney Brook broke, Canton village flooded [Vashaw (1995), p. 156.]

1897 Opera House built by Odd Fellows; replaced Main Street Hotel (formerly known as the Barrows Central House, and before that the Bosworth Hotel); torn down in 1983. [Vashaw (1995), p. 10.] The Opera House was between what is now the post office and the Canton Variety (prior to the addition of the store/restaurant and gas pumps).

22 September 1902 Meadowview post office opened [The Post Offices of Maine]

1908 Bradbury Memorial Chapel built; money for construction left by Albion E. Bradbury; dedicated 1909 June 25 [Vashaw (1995), p. 53.]

25 June 1909 Bradbury Memorial Chapel dedicated (see 1908 above for construction) [Vashaw (1995), p. 53.]

14 August 1909 Meadowview post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

30 November 1909 Gilbertville post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

August 1910 dedication of Civil War Monument [Vashaw (1995), p. 58.]

23 September 1911 Gilbertville post office re-opened [The Post Offices of Maine]

1927 Flood

15 February 1933 Gilbertville post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

1936 Flood

31 January 1940 Canton Point post office closed [The Post Offices of Maine]

1953 Flood

1978 Flood

1 April 1987 Flood

2016 Our legacy (woods; near Whitney Brook; in Whitney Brook)





Sources:
   Attwood, Stanley Bearce. 1946. The Length and Breadth of Maine. Orono: University of Maine Press.
   The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide. 1995. The Maine Philatelic Society. Cumberland, Maine.
   Vashaw, Norman A. 1995. What Was Ain’t What Is. Canton: Country Press Printing.