Category archives for: Canton History

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Colonial Vaccers

The original warrant from 1777 in the collection of the Canton Historical Society

Thirteen years had passed since the visitor had made an appearance in our town. Off and on, there were short isolated visits, but quite unlike the visit in the spring of 1764. The caller silently slipped into town, unaware and hidden behind a dark cloak of mystery. The constables and selectmen were on the lookout, […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Ghosts in the Woods

At Pequitside Farm an ancient road passed directly in front of the Tilden House.

In just a few days the ghosts and goblins will be knocking at the door. The season for tricks and treats is upon us, and while the weather is still pleasant, there are a few “ghosts” you can visit before the first snow flies. Well, not actual ghosts, but “ghost roads,” those long forgotten paths […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: North to Alaska

The steamship Corwin, on which Packard explored the Arctic in 1900 as a newspaper correspondent

Seattle was as far away from Canton as the man had been, and here he stood at the meeting point between the great transcontinental railroads and the great trans-Pacific steamship lines. Here was the gateway to an unforgettable journey to unexplored territories in Alaska. This was the life of Winthrop Packard, who explored the Arctic […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: A Long Term Lease

Among Canton’s oldest and most venerable oak trees are the pair leading to Ponkapoag Pond. (Photo by the author)

First come the chainsaws, growling and ripping through ancient trees. Within days the landscape is transformed into a blank canvas of sand, dirt, and ledge. Then come the heavy equipment ripping and scarring the earth, tossing all that is an obstacle aside. Surveyors move in to flag new roadways; cement castings arrive to become embedded […]

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. Through the lens of time, we take a moment to showcase photographs of then and now. Photos 1 & 2: Still standing […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: The Old Manse

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The house you live in today is likely an unremarkable dwelling. Built by a general contractor, suited for 21st century living. Our houses today are not especially special and in 100 years many of them will have been replaced by whatever is the fashion of that day. This is not a happy or sad statement; […]

Histy completes photo albums of every CHS grad

The Canton Historical Society recently completed three photograph albums of every Canton High School graduate since the very first class in 1869. The albums were completed by Historical Society members Susan O’Neill and Marie Duffy. The three albums were presented to Jim Halley, president of the Canton High School Alumni Association, Mark Lague, director of […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: The View Beyond

Wildcat Notch on a trail leading towards the summit of Great Blue Hill (Photo by the author)

The boys set out on an August day to swim at Houghton’s Pond. It was a bucolic summer day; a light breeze pushed big puffy clouds through the sky. Tossing their hats, jostling each other and generally roughhousing, they tumbled through the fields like lion cubs out on the savannah. For most youngsters, summertime in […]

True Tales from Canton’s Past: Spare History

The John Spare milestone on Route 138 (Courtesy of the Canton Historical Society)

  You have driven by the small cemetery in Ponkapoag countless times. The weed-choked berm leaves no place to even pull over to take a quick walk through. It sits on a hill sandwiched between two modern subdivisions, and yet it is one of our oldest historic sites and one that tells a story of […]

True Tales: Net Proceeds

The James Stratton Shepard House undergoing renovations (Photo by the author)

When a real estate sign goes up in front of an old historic estate house, local historians shudder at the thought of a developer buying the property simply to tear the house down to build new multi-family units or condominiums. It has happened many times in Canton, and each time there is a quiet outcry; […]

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