Canton Historical Society
If you have an interest in the history of Canton, please consider attending a Canton Historical Society meeting, usually the second Wednesday of each month.
Visit the Canton Historical Society website by clicking the link below for all the latest updates. Look what they have accomplished!
Or visit their Facebook page by clicking this link. Canton Maine Historcal Sciety
In 1910, a monument “Dedicated to the Defenders of the Union” was erected in Canton in remembrance of the northern soldiers who served in the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). The John A. Hodge Post of the Grand Army of the Republic (a fraternal organization for veterans) and the Ladies Relief Corps (an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic) funded the granite monument. The monument depicts an unnamed Union soldier and is similar to monuments in many other Maine towns.
The monument is located at the intersection of Routes 108 and 140 in front of the current Canton Post Office. When the monument was dedicated, it faced south—toward the former/Confederate enemy. According to Canton Historical Society member Bob Stevens, during the 1960s, road crews repositioned the statue to face drivers passing to the east.
Sources: www.maine.gov and Bangor Daily News (May 27, 2002)
Canton’s many cemeteries are an integral part of our town’s history. While some have less than a half dozen interments, others have over a hundred! To the best of our knowledge, this is the list of Canton cemeteries:
- Adkins Hines Cemetery, on the west side of Jewett Hill Road at Campbell Road. 61 interments.
- Alden Cemetery (aka Alden Farm Cemetery), off the north side of Meadowview Road. Four interments.
- Alden Hill Cemetery, on the Alden Hill Road. At least 15 interments.
- Allen Hill Cemetery, off Rt. 108 on Allen Hill near the Canton/Peru Town Line. Three interments.
- Ames Cemetery, on the east side of Jewett Hill Road near Campbell Road. 12 interments.
- Canton Mountain Cemetery (aka Canton Hill Cemetery), on the top of Canton Mountain. Unknown number of interments.
- Coolidge Cemetery, at the end of Tessier Road. Unknown number of interments.
- Hillside Cemetery (Canton Point Cemetery), at the north end of Hillside Drive off Canton Point Road near Rt. 140. 83 (known) and possibly as many as 166 interments.
- Ludden Cemetery, off Canton Point Road. Six (known) and possibly as many as 33 interments.
- Meadowview Cemetery, on the Meadowview Road. 72 interments.
- North Canton Cemetery, on Canton Mountain. Unknown number of interments.
- Pine Grove Cemetery, on Rt. 108. 101 (known) and possibly as many as 855 interments.
- Simmons Family Cemetery, on the north side of Meadowview Road. 15 interments.
- Staples Hill Cemetery, on Staples Hill. At least six interments.
- Whitney Cemetery (aka Austin Cemetery), off Canton Point Road. Two interments.
The above information was compiled from http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meccanto/, http://www.vfthomas.com/Mainecemeteries/OxfordCounty/Cantoncemeterieshome.htm, and http://www.findagrave.com. Photos and additional information regarding access to the cemeteries may be found at these websites.
MaRy Neal "Nettie" Richardson - Artist
Our town has been home to some notable individuals. One such individual is artist Mary Neal “Nettie” Richardson. Miss Richardson was born on February 17, 1859, in Mt. Vernon, Maine. Her parents were Franklin and Mary Richardson.
When Miss Richardson was six years old, she moved with her parents to Canton. She attended and later taught at Canton public schools. To foster a natural talent for drawing, Miss Richardson went to Portland for lessons. She went on to formally study art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (where she was on scholarship) as well as at several other schools and studios, some of which were in Europe.
For 30 years, Miss Richardson maintained her own studio in Boston where she painted portraits of prominent Bostonians. She also painted still lifes and landscapes, some of which were done at her camp on Main Street on Lake Anasagunticook.
Miss Richardson’s art has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Paris. One of Miss Richardson’s later paintings, “Aquarius” is said to be at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
The 1914-15 Women’s Who’s Who of America included an entry on Miss Richardson. The entry indicates she was a Universalist; favored women’s suffrage; had an interest in philosophy and psychology; and enjoyed rowing and bicycle riding.
Miss Richardson died in 1937. According to her obituary, she “probably painted more persons of note than any other New England woman.” She is buried with her parents and siblings, George and Minnehaha, in Canton’s Pinegrove Cemetery.
The Canton Historical Society collection includes three portraits by Mary Richardson.
Sources: Lewiston Evening Journal, June 19, 1909; Women’s Who’s Who of America, 1914-15 edition; Mary Neal Richardson’s Obituary in a Portland, Maine newspaper (specific date and newspaper name unknown); The Emerson College Magazine Vol. 20, No. 1, November 1911.