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Canton, Maine
Main Street in 1909
Main Street in 1909
Canton, Maine is located in Maine
Canton, Maine
Canton, Maine
Location in Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Oxford
Incorporated 1821
 • Total 30.50 sq mi (78.99 km2)
 • Land 29.12 sq mi (75.42 km2)
 • Water 1.38 sq mi (3.57 km2)
400 ft (122 m)
 • Total 1,125
 • Density 39/sq mi (14.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-10005
GNIS feature ID 0582386

Canton is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,125 at the 2020 census. Located beside Lake Anasagunticook, Canton is a summer recreational area.


Canton Point was the site of Rockemeka, village of the Anasagunticook (or Androscoggin) Abenaki Indians. It is said the tribe had 500 acres (2.0 km2) cleared to raise corn. By 1757 the tribe population was devastated by smallpox.

The land became part of a grant the Massachusetts General Court awarded to Captain Joseph Phipps and 63 other soldiers for their services during the French and Indian War. Called Phipps-Canada, it would be incorporated in 1795 as Jay in honor of John Jay, the first chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. On February 5, 1821, Canton was set off from Jay and incorporated, named after Canton, Massachusetts.

Settlement began in the early 1790s when William Livermore, William French, Joseph Coolidge and Alexander Shepherd arrived. Others followed, principally from Massachusetts. The surface of the town is uneven in the outskirts, but smooth and level at Canton Point, where the soil was considered unsurpassed in the state for agriculture. The outlet of Lake Anasagunticook provided water power for industry. Gustavus Hayford settled here in 1814. In addition to a log cabin, he built a sawmill and gristmill. First called Hayford Mills, it would be renamed Canton Mills, and now Canton. In the 19th century, it had a machine shop to manufacture farm implements, a tinware factory and an iron foundry. It remains the business center. The Rumford Branch of the Maine Central Railroad passed through the town in the late 1850s, carrying freight but also tourists. The community developed as a resort area for camping.

In December 2005 the town began a project to relocate the town center and about 60 homes on the floodplains surrounding the Androscoggin River due to frequent spring flooding. Proposals have been floated to replace the vacated lots with parkland or nature trails.


Lake Anasagunticook, Canton, ME
Lake Anasagunticook in 1911

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 30.50 square miles (78.99 km2), of which, 29.12 square miles (75.42 km2) of it is land and 1.38 square miles (3.57 km2) is water. Situated beside Lake Anasagunticook, Canton is drained by Whitney Brook and the Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by state routes 108 and 140. It borders the towns of Jay to the northeast, Hartford to the south, Peru to the west, and Dixfield to the northwest.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 746
1840 919 23.2%
1850 926 0.8%
1860 1,025 10.7%
1870 984 −4.0%
1880 1,029 4.6%
1890 1,303 26.6%
1900 946 −27.4%
1910 1,013 7.1%
1920 750 −26.0%
1930 767 2.3%
1940 706 −8.0%
1950 746 5.7%
1960 728 −2.4%
1970 742 1.9%
1980 831 12.0%
1990 951 14.4%
2000 1,121 17.9%
2010 990 −11.7%
2020 1,125 13.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
CantonME HistoricalSociety
Canton Historical Society

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 990 people, 410 households, and 239 families living in the town. The population density was 34.0 inhabitants per square mile (13.1/km2). There were 473 housing units at an average density of 16.2 per square mile (6.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.3% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 410 households, of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.7% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

The median age in the town was 48 years. 17.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.2% were from 25 to 44; 33.7% were from 45 to 64; and 21.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

Site of interest

  • Canton Historical Society


  • Cornelius Holland, US congressman
  • Scott Kolk, US actor
  • Stephany Stanley, Miss Maine (1998)
  • John P. Swasey, US congressman

Notable people

  • Cornelius Holland, US congressman
  • Scott Kolk, US actor
  • Stephany Stanley, Miss Maine (1998)
  • John P. Swasey, US congressman

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Canton (Maine) para niños

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