Canton Historical Society

Spring/Summer 2019 Regular Hours for the Museum and Country Store Gift Shop:

Also Saturday 10 -12 PM by appointment or by chance.

Discover Your Family History


This is an unidentified photograph in the Society’s collection. Do you recognize anyone?


Are you interested in researching your family history? Board Members of the Canton Historical Society are available to help you discover information and show you how to do further research.

To set up a session, please email or call to make an appointment. Email:, or call: 207-500-9893. Leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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HISTORY EVENT - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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HISTORY EVENT - August 21, 2019:

The Canton Historical Society hosted a talk on “Researching Canton and Postal History” on Wednesday, August 21, at 6:30 p.m., in its building at 25 Turner Street.  The speaker will be Tom Vining.

Mr. Vining will talk about the extensive research he has done on the history of Canton and other small Maine towns, specifically their cemeteries, deeds, genealogy, monuments, etc.  He will also discuss his process for investigating postal history.

Thomas “Tom” F. Vining is a former seasonal interpretive ranger at Acadia National Park with a degree in botany from the University of Maine in Orono.  He compiled and edited “Cemeteries of Cranberry Isles and the Towns of Mount Desert Island: A Record of Names and Dates on Gravestones in Cemeteries of Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, and Tremont,” (2000), and co-authored with nature-writer Ruth Gortner Grierson “Living on the Edge: A Guide to Tide Pool Animals, Seaweeds, and Seaside Plants” (2018).  His cultural and natural history research is accessible at

This event is free of admission and open to the public.  The venue is handicap accessible.  Refreshments will be served.  Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Canton Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization devoted to the preservation and celebration of Canton’s heritage and history.

If you would like more information about this event, please email

December 18, 2018


A big THANK YOU to Hammond Lumber Company who recently donated the appropriate doors to ensure our 1st floor restroom is ADA compliant. The doors normally cost $420 but were given to us free ~ compliments of HLC.


A weekend-long celebration of our men and women in uniform throughout the decades, included a 1940s Dance Party, Museum Exhibits, and an interactive presentation on World War II history.


October 29, 2018

More wonderful news to share! We received a donation of $100.00 from Dirigo Federal Credit Union to support our efforts in building a 2nd floor ADA accessible bathroom in our building! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Dirigo FCU, we appreciate it very much.

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October 15, 2018

After 130 years of service to the community, the Ponemah Rebekah Lodge #28 of Canton voted to close. Before making it official, the fraternal order decided to donate money to 7 different local organizations and CHS is fortunate to be one of them! On Saturday, Thomas and Jolene Adley presented a check in the amount of $2,095.37 to our Treasurer, Elise and Board Members Prudy and Julie! In addition, the Lodge Charter was presented to add to our collection. What amazing gifts and we here at the CHS appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity! THANK YOU

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October 10, 2018

Excited to announce we have received another donation in support of our project to build an ADA accessible bathroom on the 2nd floor in our building!

Thank you Auburn Savings for your $500.00 donation!

When completed the project will make our space more comfortable for our guests visiting the museum and country store, attending community events or renting the space for private functions. Thank you Auburn Savings!


September 12, 2018

September 12, 2018

It is with great pleasure to announce Mechanics Savings Bank has donated $750.00 in support of our project to build an ADA accessible bathroom on the 2nd floor in our building. When completed the project will make our space more comfortable for our guests visiting the museum and country store, attending community events or renting the space for private functions. Thank you Mechanics Savings Bank!


News: Grand Opening - July 7, 2018

On Saturday, July 7 the Canton Historical Society held its much anticipated Grand Opening. Festivities included special guest speaker Senator Lisa Keim and a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. 


News: July 11, 2018

It is with great pleasure that we announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Maine Historical Record Advisory Board (MHRAB) of the Maine State Archives, Historical Records Collections Program. The grant of $777.85 will allow us to purchase archival boxes and folders for the paper and photograph collections as part of the ongoing collection cataloging project. 

MHRAB grants are sponsored by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Thank you Maine State Archives! 

News: June 3, 2018

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It is with great pleasure we can announce the Maine Community Foundation approved a grant in the total amount of $5,000.00 to purchase technology.  This grant was made from the Oxford County Fund ($1,860.00) and the Building Stronger Nonprofits Fund ($3,140.00).

With this money we will purchase a screen, a projector, a Blue Ray disc player, an AV cart, and a sound system that includes speaker stands and microphones.  Presentations, movies and more will now be able available in our venue as we welcome in the community and private events. 

We are so excited and very grateful to the foundation for their generosity and extend our many, many thanks!  

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23 April 2018

Last Friday, two Society members visited with a very special man, one whose dedication and pride for the Town of Canton shines. During the visit, he presented to the Historical Society a check that exceeded $21,000.00! We are so touched and incredibly grateful for this donation. He had already given a donation in the past and thought this additional amount would help make a dent in our Wish List. And he is right...

Thank you Bernard Adams. You are a treasure and your generosity is so very appreciated. We will work our hardest to fulfill the vision of a great Historical Society and a community gathering spot.

News: March 30, 2018

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We are thrilled to announce a grant of $20,000 from the Davis Family Foundation for the exterior painting of the former Grange and Masonic building - now the new home of the Canton Historical Society. 

Thank you so much Davis Family Foundation, the building will be shining like a new penny!

February 10, 2018 MARDI GRAS

The Canton Bicentennial Mardi Gras Fundraiser on Saturday, February 10 was wonderful - and even a brief power outage didn't dampen the fun. Over 85 people turned out to enjoy the festivities and the authentic Mardi Gras food and activities.  The Bicentennial Committee will be holding annual events each February to raise funds for the town-wide celebration extravaganza in August 2021. Stay tuned for info - visit:

Thank you to all who came out for this fantastic event!  The 'new' Canton Historical Society building had a very joyous night.

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The December 14 Open House was a great success! Thank you to the many hardy citizens who came out in the cold (both outside and in!) to explore and celebrate the rescued Historical Society building.


SOLD OUT!  As of 3:20 on 27th of December all of the windows have been sold.  With the greatest amount of gratitude, the CHS members thank all of you for your support.  By this time next month we will have new replacement windows installed.  Hip Hip Hooray!


We are an all volunteer, not for profit organization devoted to the preservation and celebration of Canton's heritage and history. 

The most recent initiative has been to rescue and renovate one of the last historically significant buildings in the central town district in order to create the town's sole independent venue that can serve as a social and educational gathering place for the community, amidst displays of Canton's past.

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THANK YOU to the citizens of Canton! Your unanimous vote at the Special Town Meeting to appropriate funds to the Historical Society helped us accomplish the building move. This support was crucial in getting the building move project underway and completed under a tight deadline. 

Our gratitude to the CN Brown Company, for their generous donation of the historic Grange building, as well as funding toward the cost of the building's move onto the CHS foundation.

Thank you to the OTIS Federal Credit Union for their generous donation toward the building move.

A special thanks to RAO Enterprises for their many volunteer hours of boots-on-the-ground work throughout the move (and before and after!)

Thank you to Hutchins Custom Woodworking for their exquisite work on the restoration of the historic bell.


We are currently seeking donations for several urgent projects which will help create a year-round community meeting place for Canton and the region, and a new home for the Canton Historical Society's Museum and Archives.

The building is expected to create a revenue stream that will help support the Society and its facility costs. But first, we must upgrade the building to allow year-round use.

Refer to the 'Support' page to see our Wish List!


A special thank you to Peter Stowell for supplying several images of Canton gone by.