A two-story building with Gothic Revival windows and a Doric columned entry porch (on the right in the image above) was built in 1908 on Market Street in Collinsville to serve as the Town Hall of Canton. The town hall later expanded into a much larger nineteenth-century building next door on Main Street (the large building in the image above). It was originally a commercial structure that had stores at street level and offices above.
The building in Collinsville that today houses the Canton Historical Museum is one of the original buildings of the Collins Axe Company. Built in 1865, it was used by the company for finishing agricultural plows. In 1924-1925, the building was converted to become a recreational facility for employees, with bowling alleys and a rifle range. At that time, the verandas and chimney were added to the north side of the building. Today, the museum features artifacts and memorabilia on three floors.
Since 1960 a former schoolhouse on the Canton Village Green has been home to the Canton Artists’ Guild. Now called the Gallery on the Green, the building dates to 1872, when it was known as “The Academy.” It was later called the Canton Street School House and functioned as an elementary school until it was closed in 1949. The Canton Volunteer Fire Department used it for meetings from 1950 to 1958, when a fire station was built. The schoolhouse was then rented by the Artists’ Guild until 1971, when the Fire Department deeded the building to the Guild for $1.
The Gleason-Harger House, on the Albany Turnpike in Canton, was built around 1784 by Chauncey Gleason, who was involved in the East and West Indies trade, first with Elijah Cowles & Co. of Farmingtion and later in partnership with Matthew Ives, of Westfield, Mass. Around 1835, the house was acquired by John Wesley Harger, a Deacon of the Canton Baptist Church, who replaced the original gambrel roof. The house was also most likely altered around the same time to its current Greek Revival appearance. The house remained in his family well into the twentieth century and is now used as offices.
In 1783, thirty members of the Presbyterian Church in West Simsbury (now Canton) separated to form a new church. Known as “separatists” or Strict Congregationalists, the new congregation split again just three years later, with about half of the members becoming Baptists. A Baptist church building was constructed in 1807 in Canton Village, on what is now Canton Green. In 1838, the church was moved to its present site, not far away on the Albany Turnpike, and remodeled in the Greek Revival style. The church had a bell founded in 1839 by George H. Holbrook of East Medway, Massachusetts. Later, in the twentieth century, the Canton Community Baptist Church moved to a new building on Dowd Avenue. The old church building is now used as offices.
The Harmon Hamlin House, on Dowd Avenue in Canton, was built in 1809. For many years it was known as the Biglow House after a tin peddler who lived there. The house has Greek Revival features, probably added in the mid-nineteenth century, including a wide cornice, pedimanted side gable and a doorway with pillasters, sidelights and a Greek entablature.
A beam in the attic of the Messenger House, on Cherry Brook Road in Canton, is inscribed with the words: “RAISED 1785 JUNE 20 MONDAY.” In the days when stagecoach used to pass by the house, it was used as an inn. Also, at one time, there was an apple orchard and cider mill on the property. Miles Messenger owned the house in the mid-twentieth century and, after the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston blew down during Hurricane Carol in 1954, Mr. Messenger gave a white oak from his farm to help rebuild it.