Canton North Carolina – Where the Mountains Kiss the Sky

One of Many Painted Murals in Canton NC

Canton, once in Cherokee Indian Territory, is home to its own kind of revival – a downtown revitalization and an ongoing effort to preserve its history. Hand painted murals throughout the town depict the history of the county.

The Canton Historical Museum tells the story of political, environmental and war history in a small but fascinating exhibit space, and just across the street is the newly restored Colonial Theatre, hosting concerts, readings and plays on a grand vintage stage.

Canton NC Museum

Canton was founded in 1889 as Buford. The name was changed to Pigeon Ford in 1891. In 1893 the name was changed again to Canton. If you listen to the stories told, a meeting was taking place to discuss a new name for the town and it was getting a little bit lively. So a break was called and one of the attendees was outside smoking, and while standing by the bridge, saw the name Canton printed on one of the bridges steel supports. So, he went back in, settled the debate by stating the new name will be Canton. And so it is, the town was named for Canton, Ohio, the source of the steel for the bridge over the Pigeon River. The bridge has long been replaced, but the piece of steel mentioned in the story can be found at the Canton Museum.

Canton is a small town cradled in the mountains in western North Carolina and is most commonly referred to as Paper Town. A name derived from Evergreen Packaging, Incorporated, (Formally Champion Paper). Champion Paper contributed largely to the local economy, and was the largest employer in Canton. Upon Champion’s decision to close the plant in 1997, the employees of Champion purchased the plant and formed Blue Ridge Paper Company. Under an ESOP plan, the employees own a 45% stake in the new company. The company was later purchased by Evergreen Packaging.

Recreation Center in Canton NC

Canton has a recreation program as part of its services to its citizens and guests. The Recreation Park has a large, modern swimming pool, playground, picnic tables, lighted tennis courts, and ball fields adjacent to the park. Activities include “Pickin’ in the Park” during the summer months, a scenic walking trail surrounding the park area; an annual Labor Day celebration, a festival of lights during the Christmas holiday season, and the annual lighted night Christmas parade.

Car Show from ‘Mater Festival in Canton NC