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Stories written by George T. Comeau

True Tales from Canton’s Past: 125 Years of Promise

The following is an excerpt from “125 Years of Promise,” the latest installment of True Tales from Canton’s Past by local historian George T. Comeau. Several years ago, this writer found himself heading for neurosurgery to correct a failed disc high up in the spine. As anyone who has been through major surgery knows, your […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: The House Within

The historic Withington-Bird House is now tucked away near a modern subdivision on Lantern Lane. (Photo by the author)

The Canton we know today was once the wilds of Dorchester. This area, largely inhabited by the Ponkapoag tribe, became an attractive settlement for a handful of pioneering men and women leaving the relative congestion of larger towns. The idea of buying and selling land was a purely English notion; the natives had no concept […]

True Tales: Then & Now

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A rich photographic history is preserved at the Canton Historical Society. With well over 4,000 catalogued images, each moment in time helps us see the fabric of the people and places of Canton. Photos 1 & 2: The Canton Catholic Club occupied the building that was once the Massapoag House. The original building was constructed in […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Crane Guards

The entire village of South Canton gathered to see the militia in their stunning uniforms at the house of the general. On that Friday in October 1823, the trees dripped with red and gold and an autumn sun cast long shadows across Washington Street. The force was made up of many of the sons of […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Breaking News

John Henning and Mary Richardson introduced the now infamous Blue Hill volcano segment but were unaware of the graphic nature of the prank. (Bill Golladay, Creative Commons)

Today we get our news from so many sources. In a world of almost instant access to information, we can turn to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all of which closely follow conventional news outlets. News is so “now” that within moments of a recent police chase from Brockton to Canton, which ended at the infamous […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: I Am the Egg Man

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Hiking across the marsh, Elwyn Capen had endured several days of torrential spring downpours, yet he was in his glory. Soaked to his skin, a heavy wool coat slowed his progress as he approached the nest just at the edge of Ponkapoag Pond. High up in the tree was the large nest of a great […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Cows & Dogs

“Disputed Game,” painted in 1850, is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

In a meadow, he stepped lightly, avoiding the obvious signs of bovine leavings. In the heat of the late afternoon, the sun was declining and casting long shadows over the pasture. And as he cleared the thicket, he saw the elegance and grace of the herd at rest. He wanted to capture them in this […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Canton’s Future Redux

The Joseph Warren Revere Barn adapted for use as a taproom.

The idea behind saving the buildings at the Paul Revere and Sons property began back in 2008 when Attorney Paul Schneiders, representing the Napleton Company, stood before the Canton Historical Commission and sought a demolition request for the historic structures. It was unthinkable that such nationally significant mill buildings with a lineage that connected directly […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Under Three Flags

John Meyer and Hans Krauß, likely in Canton in 1919 (Courtesy of Anneliese Neumann)

As the mail arrived at the town clerk’s office, one letter stood apart from the rest. The dispatch was postmarked from a small Bavarian village. And as Gail McHugo slit open the envelope, a simple typed note began a journey into Canton’s history that few know about today. “More than 100 years ago,” the letter […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Twenty-Two Stories

The Crane School was demolished in 1954, and the town has never been quite the same. (Collection of the author)

This column began in 2011, and since it started I have been able to tell well over 100 stories tied to the unique history and character of Canton. It has not really been all that hard discovering the things that make us unique. When you are curious, and you talk to people who have been […]

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