Canton (1909)


The Canton Number of a Series devoted to the illustration of certain of the cities and towns adjacent to the City of Boston and the presentation, in brief accompanying text, of some suggestive facts concerning their advantages and development.



39 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

(Copyright 1909 by The Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Boston.)

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Memorial Hall, Containing the Town Offices.

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One of the Schools Buildings in Canton.

The Town of Canton

The noted views to be obtained from the summit of the Great Blue Hill are so wide in extent and so pleasing in aspect that they are in themselves more than ample recompense for any expenditure of energy included in the ascent. Of all the different and comprehensive outlooks afforded by the elevation, none excels in interest and varied charm that from the part of the crest within the line of Canton, and over the territory of this favored town. Almost directly below are cultivated fields in the level plain from which the southern slope of the hill rises abruptly. Elsewhere within the view are, to be sure, other of these fields or meadows, smooth roads, occasional clusters of homes, the roofs of more detached structures, the stacks of industries and the spires of churches. Nevertheless, there are so many lakes to be discerned and so great an area of woodland that in its more striking characteristics the scene must be the same as that which met the eyes of the early settlers of neighboring parts if any of these had the leisure, as they must have had the inclination, to climb the steep acclivity three centuries or so ago.

As a closer approach is made, however, and as the many good and pleasant roads of the town are

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The Public Library Building erected in 1901.

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An Attractive Residence near Canton Junction.

traversed, it is perceived that the localized settlements are larger than they had appeared to be, the attractive dwellings more numerous, that the land which appeared so level from the higher altitude is pleasantly hilly and diversified in surface, and that while the lakes or ponds lose none of their picturesque quality or beauty the wild woodlands assume that due relation to the cultivated or occupied portions which makes them only added attractions in an always pleasing prospect. Moreover, no unusual powers of observation are needed to gain the assurance that here in Canton are presented the conveniences introduced with progress and the utilities essential to comfort and content in an otherwise well ordered and satisfactory residential community.

When the Neponset Indians gave up their lands nearer the mouth of the river now bearing their name they were removed in 1650 to the territory south of the Blue Hills, then called Ponkapoag, and they were forbidden to sell their lands. For many years therefore, this remained an Indian settlement; but along early in the eighteenth century the white settlers, not to be denied possession of so fair and promising a country, acquired long time leases from the Indians and the building of the, first meeting house was begun in 1707. In 1725 the restriction upon sales of land was removed. The territory, however, was nominally granted to the Town of Dorchester in 1637 and this grant was confirmed in 1720 while it was formally conveyed to the English by Chief Wampatuck in about 1666. This and neighboring lands became the Dorchester South Precinct but in 1726 these

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The Episcopal Church Opposite Memorial Hall.

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A Business Block with Store and Offices, Canton.

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One of Several Pleasant Homes at Canton Corner.

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The Universalist Church at Canton.

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The Roman Catholic Church at Canton.

were included in the Town of Stoughton then incorporated. The precinct of Stoughtonham was created in 1765; but in 1797 and because the settlements of Stoughton were separated so widely, Canton was made a distinct and duly incorporated town.

Extending from the morning shadow of the Blue Hills to the line of Stoughton and of Sharon on the south, Canton occupies an area of a little over nineteen square miles in Norfolk County. Its population has grown from about one thousand at the time of its incorporation to about five thousand with one thousand or so legal voters. The assessed valuation for 1909 amounted to a little over four million dollars.

Canton Junction is the most important of the railroad stations within the town and here in addition to the main line and branch lines there are sidings, freight yards and whatever is necessary to make transportation facilities adequate and excellent. This station is fifteen miles by rail from Boston on the Providence Division of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. There are seventeen trains daily in each direction and eleven on Sundays. The single fare is thirty cents; five rides cost $1.25; twelve rides cost $1.80 and the average running time is thirty-two minutes. On the Old Colony Division which here leaves the other line and beyond Canton Junction are stations at Canton and Springdale. The electric line of the Blue Hill Street Railway Company runs six miles through the main street of the town connecting with the Boston Elevated System at Mattapan, also making connections
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The Unitarian Church at Canton Corner.

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A Residence in Canton near the Blue Hills.

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One of the Dwellings near Ponkapoag.

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The Baptist Church and Surroundings, Canton.

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Homes Along Washington Street at Ponkapoag.

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Some of the Pleasant Homes, Canton Junction.

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The Evangelical Congregational Church at Canton.

on the west and south with Norwood, Sharon and Stoughton.

Water of excellent quality is furnished by the town with a metered service. The water comes from wells at Springdale and Henry Springs whence it is pumped to a stand-pipe on High Street while the more than twenty-three miles of main and distributing pipe make the supply generally available. There are nearly two hundred hydrants. An efficient fire department has apparatus in good condition and suitably equipped consisting of three hose wagons, two hook and ladder trucks and one steamer. The police department is amply manned for the protection of life and property, the preservation of order and for checking over-zealous drivers of automobiles tempted by the smooth long roads.

The streets of Canton are lighted until one o'clock on other than moonlighted nights under a ten year contract with The Edison Electric Illuminating Company. This Company also furnishes electricity for the illumination of residential and commercial structures, as well as for power, at its standard rates as established throughout the thirty-three cities and towns it supplies with the electric current. The service of the Company is continuous during every hour of every day in the year.

Banking facilities in Canton are afforded by the Canton Institution for Savings, chartered in 1835; by the Neponset National Bank, chartered as the Neponset Bank in 1836 but becoming a National Bank in 1865 and by the Canton Co-operative Bank.
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An Indication of the Transportation Facilities, Canton Junction.

There are eighteen public schools including a High School. There are eight school buildings and while under the direction of the school committee of the town and the superintendent a high educational standard is maintained in the different grades, the safety and physicial well-being of the pupils are given due and careful attention. Conveniently located and in some measure interesting as representative of societies early organized there are six churches in Canton—Unitarian, Evangelical, Congregational, Roman Catholic, Universalist, Episcopal and Baptist besides a Christian Union Chapel at Pankapoag.

The Public Library was long ago established in Canton and this with its collection of nearly fifteen thousand volumes, occupies a handsome building presented by a public-spirited citizen and erected in 1901. On an attractive site nearby stands the Memorial Hall, in which are the town offices. This building was dedicated in 1879 and contains a tablet stating that it was "Erected to commemorate the patriotism of the soldiers of Canton who fell in defence of the Union in the War of the Rebellion."

The social or neighborhood pleasures of the town are fostered by the societies connected with the various churches and more particularly, perhaps, by the Women's Auxiliary which, while an association primarily of attendants at the Unitarian Church has others among its members. The more important fraternal organizations have local branches and the Canton Historical Society while it encourages research and literary pleasures is also social in its
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Other Stores and Business Buildings, Canton.

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Works of the Springdale Finishing Company.

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Stove Polish Works of Morse Brothers.

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Factory of the Electric Goods Manufacturing Company.

intention. There are opportunities for outdoor recreation afforded by the open spaces, the roads in their picturesque surroundings, the pleasant walks and the many ponds and lakes. Furthermore, there are here over four hundred and seventy acres of the Blue Hill Reservation and more than two hundred and sixty-four acres of the Neponset River Reservation under charge of the Metropolitan Park System with their protected pleasant places. On the pond of the same name are the quarters of the Bolivar Boat Club. The Hoosic-whisic Club has its golf course of nine holes and its tennis courts in the northern part of the town. The club house and golf links of the Wampatuck Country Club are situated on the southern shore of Reservoir Pond.

The scenic beauty of Canton; its convenient situation and the manner of its development have led quite naturally to the occupation of much of its territory by modern residences with their surroundings. Several large home estates have been established and while these are mainly in the northern districts, at many and various points within the town are attractive looking homes. There are other sites available and quite suitable for homes of whatever character of importance, in true country houses amid spacious and somewhat remote grounds, or in dwellings for all the year use near the lines of communication. Land values are as yet, it may be mentioned, comparatively low.

While the development of Canton as a place of desirable residence has been so notable there has been also proper growth in manufacturing importance. Iron and saw making began in Canton in 1787. In 1801

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The Neponset Woolen Mills, Canton.

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View from the Grounds of the Wampatuck Country Club.

Paul Revere, of famous memory, with his son started here a foundry for casting copper cannon, bells and other articles. Cotton manufacturing was begun in 1803; thread making in 1821 and silk weaving in 1839. Now, as stated in the latest available State Report on the Statistics of Labor, the value of the goods made in Canton in 1906 was over one and a quarter million dollars. Among the establishments here conducting their operations are the O. Ames & Son, Corporation, branch of the North Easton shovel works; Albenart Company, manual training benches; Asbestos Protected Metal Company; C. C. C. Fire Hose Company; Crow Blacking Company, leather dressing; Draper Brothers Company, paper mill felts and knitted goods; Electric Goods Manufacturing Company; J. H. Hatfield, artists' colors; Knitted Mattress Company; G. H. Mansfield & Company, silk fish lines and glove cords; J. T. Meadows, cardigan jackets, etc.; Morse Brothers, stove polishes; Neponset Woolen Mills; Springdale Finishing Company; L. R. Wattles & Company, sizing compounds for yarns.

There are available many acres of land near the railroad lines suitable as sites for other manufacturing or business buildings. The freight facilities are excellent and equal to all requirements. The Canton Board of Trade is active in measures tending to promote the prosperity of the town and is ready to give any desired co-operation to manufacturers and to give information as to sites for industrial plants or any available factory buildings or concerning locations for dwellings.

This work was published before January 1, 1924 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 97 years or less since publication.