History of Canton, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886




Canton is the most easterly town in Oxford County. It is about 6 miles in width at the middle, and its greatest length is, north and south, about 9 miles. From west to east, through the midst, flows the Androscoggin in a zigzag course. In its great southern bend at the centre of the town is Canton Point village and post-office. On the southern side, at this point, the Androscoggin receives Whitney Brook, the outlet of Whitney Pond, which occupies a portion of the south-western area of the town. At a fine water-power on the outlet near the pond is Canton village and post-office. Here are Canton Mills, consisting of a saw-mill manufacturing short lumber, a shook and stave mill, and a grist-mill. Other manufactories are the steammill of the Canton Steam Mill Company, a carriage and zinc wash-board factory, a foundry, a furniture and moulding factory, a tannery, the Dennison Paper Manufacturing Company, and several small establishments.

The surface of the outskirts of the town is quite uneven, while the centre is smooth and level. Along the river and Whitney Pond and Brook is much fine interval, and the town is not surpassed by hny for agricultural purposes. At Canton Point, the Rockomeko of the Indians, there is a large and beautiful tract of interval, which, at its first occupation by white people, showed the hills which usually mark long-forsaken cornfielon, The mountain situated north of the point was also called by the Indians "Rockomeko." The tribe which inhabited here were probably a clan of the Pequakets, whose principal residence was Fryeburg. The Rockomekos were entirely exterminated by the small pox, during the war with the French and Indians, in 1757. Implements such as they used have frequently been turned out of the soil at this point, and a burying ground, containing many of their skeletons, has also come to light.

Whitney Pond received its name from a hunter who had been wounded by the savages and left for dead, but had revived and crawled to a camp beside the pond. his companions, while in search of him, came upon the camp, and supposing the figure they saw within to be an Indian, they fired upon him, but on entering, found they had killed their comrade.

The first efforts at settlement were made in 1790 or 1792. William Livermore, William French, Joseph Coolidge and Alexander Shepherd were among the earliest settlers. This township was included in the tract which first became known as Phipp's Canada. It was first incorporated as a part of Jay in 1795, but was set off and incorporated under its present name February 5, 1821. It is 20 miles northeast of Paris, about 60 miles north of Portland, and 25 miles north north-west of Lewiston and Auburn. It is the terminus of Rumford Falls and Buckfield Railroad.

Canton has Baptist, Free Baptist and Universalist societies. all of which have good church-edifices. The number of public schoolhouses in town is nine, valued, with other school property, at $4,000. The valuation of estates, in 1870, was $395,993. In 1880, it was $367,693. The population in 1870 was 984. In 1880 it was 1,030.

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