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Stories written by George T. Comeau

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Hospital on a Hill

The Marcus Clark House on High Street was also the Canton Hospital from 1916 to 1921. (Courtesy of the Canton Historical Society)

There is no doubt that great fanfare accompanied the crowd that showed up for the opening of the Canton Hospital on that cold day in December 1916. It was, like all things, a labor of love that took over 16 years of vision and planning to come to fruition. And there is no doubt that […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Spur Line

Canton Center rail crossing with Canton Station (left), now the MBTA parking lot in Canton Center (Courtesy of the Canton Historical Society)

Perhaps the greatest joy of living in Canton is that it still sits with one foot in the past and one foot firmly in the now. There are anachronistic reminders of yesteryear if you know where to look. As you pass over the railroad tracks at Canton Center, heading north towards Memorial Hall, take a […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Coasting Back in Time

Mildred Morse Allen’s sled, which was purchased from Jordan Marsh Co. circa 1910 (In the collection of the Canton Historical Society)

The boys had done this exercise countless times. The weather was perfect and the early December freeze made for excellent conditions. Two old sleds were taken from the Aldrich barn in Ponkapoag. The metal skids had been repaired by the blacksmith and he didn’t charge a penny for work that cost him $4. The boys […]

True Tales: Lost Cursive

Forty-five years ago I boarded a bus on Walpole Street and was dropped off at the Revere School on Chapman Street. The memory of that day burns vividly. I can recall the smell of crayons and paste, floor wax and ammonia, fresh air and sunlight flooding the room. We were a large class, by today’s […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Remembering Chief

Chief Fitzpatrick gazes at the names of the retired firemen that served under his command.

Editor’s note: The story below was republished in the Canton Citizen this week in memory of James “Jim” Fitzpatrick, a lifelong Canton resident and former longtime fire chief who passed away on Friday at the age of 79. In addition to his four-plus decades of service with the CFD, “Chief” remained active in the community […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Flowers at a Grave

The 300-year-old footstone of Gilburt Indicott (Photo by the author)

The leaves crunch underfoot, just as they did exactly 300 years ago in the same spot. There is a mossy bed that surrounds the head and footstone, and the October light dapples through the leaves of beautiful poplar. Much has changed beyond the walls of this place, but the reflections on life and sanctity are […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Walking in his Footsteps

A concept of the planned visitor center that would echo the original Revere house and bell tower (Joe Viamonte Design)

After five years of writing these stories, the sense that Canton has a far greater history than many comparable towns is now apparent. And when you take stock of what this town has become economically and socially and where it is going, we are in a remarkable position to memorialize and capitalize on some of […]

True Tales: Light the Corners of My Mind

The end of an era: the Blue Hill Street Trolley stuck in the snow (Courtesy of the Canton Historical Society)

In 1972 the town of Canton celebrated the 175th anniversary of the founding of this community. There were the usual parades, costume balls, and even a mock town meeting to carry the history forward. An old movie from 1938 was presented for young and old to reflect upon how much had changed in town. There […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: A Jewel on Elm Street

The Reed House on Elm Street as it looked when Nancy and Edward Mayo owned the house circa 1880 (Courtesy of the Canton Historical Society)

It is a small, unassuming house on Elm Street. Look closely and examine it from the street and you will see a low hip roof, an elegant yet simple porch, and a fanlight over the front door. This address, perhaps the finest and most sophisticated Italianate style house in Canton, is a national jewel beyond […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Devoted Servant

There is an old and little used adage that today, fortunately, has very little utility: Behind every man there is a woman. And indeed there was a time when it was entirely true. No truer than the woman that was behind Dr. Harvey Cushing — in his day the most famous neurosurgeon in the world. […]

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