Canton, NC – Where the Mountains Kiss the Sky

In 1889, Canton was originally called Buford, then the name was changed to Vinson. In 1891, the name was changed to Pigeon Ford. Finally, the name was changed to Canton in 1893. The town was named for Canton, Ohio, the town supplied the steel for the bridge over the Pigeon River.

Canton’s motto: Where the mountains kiss the Sky

The paper plant sits in town and can be seen from all parts of the downtown.  It is big and ugly.  Most of the buildings need work, the murals on the buildings are faded.  I got the impression that the town tried to renovate the town with murals and a gazebo, but gave up. There are few buildings that is really nice.

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Canton was the site of Champion International Paper factory. The company decided to close in 1997, the employees of Champion purchased the plant and formed Blue Ridge Paper Company.  It has since been sold and it is now owned by Evergreen Packaging.

The day I was there the plant was belching out smoke from several orifices.

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Imperial Hotel – Built in 1911, it was originally a residence. 117 Main Street

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Imperial Hotel

Canton Area Historical Museum contains artifacts and photographs that depict the history of the towns of Canton, Bethel, and Cruso. Free admission 36 Park Street

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Colonial Theater – The Colonial Theater was built in 1932 and renovated in 1992 and 2006.  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The building is used for plays, concerts and movies. 55 Park St.

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Riverview Farm & Garden – products for home, farm, garden and pet supplies. 23 Penland St.

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Old Pressley Sapphire Mine – walk to the site and bring down the rocks you would like to wash. Road to mine is a little rough. 240 Old Pressley Mine Rd.

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