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Canton, North Carolina
Official seal of Canton, North Carolina
"Where the mountains kiss the sky"
Location of Canton, North Carolina
Location of Canton, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Haywood
 • Total 3.72 sq mi (9.64 km2)
 • Land 3.72 sq mi (9.64 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,615 ft (797 m)
 • Total 4,227
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,168.23/sq mi (451.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-10240
GNIS feature ID 1019518

Canton is the second largest town in Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It is located about 17 miles (27 km) west of Asheville and is part of that city's metropolitan area. The town is named after the city of Canton, Ohio. The population was 4,227 at the 2010 census.


Champion Fiber Company - NARA - 280244
Champion factory in 1937

The area was first settled in the late 1780s. By 1790 Jonathan McPeters was farming the banks of the Pigeon River where Canton now stands. Around 1815 the first church was built in what was to become Canton; it was called the Locust Old Field Baptist Church.

Canton was founded in 1889 as Buford, later that same year the name was changed to Vinson. The name was changed to Pigeon Ford in 1891. The name was changed to Canton in 1893. The town was named for Canton, Ohio, the source of the steel for the bridge over the Pigeon River.

Canton was the site of a Champion International Paper factory. Champion 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, the employees owned a 45% stake in the new company, although it has since been sold. The plant is now owned by Evergreen Packaging.

The Canton Main Street Historic District and Colonial Theater are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 230
1910 1,393 505.7%
1920 2,584 85.5%
1930 5,117 98.0%
1940 5,037 −1.6%
1950 4,906 −2.6%
1960 5,068 3.3%
1970 5,158 1.8%
1980 4,631 −10.2%
1990 3,790 −18.2%
2000 4,029 6.3%
2010 4,227 4.9%
2019 (est.) 4,347 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Canton racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 3,872 87.56%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 90 2.04%
Native American 25 0.57%
Asian 12 0.27%
Other/Mixed 168 3.8%
Hispanic or Latino 255 5.77%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,422 people, 1,775 households, and 1,072 families residing in the town.


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Canton (Carolina del Norte) para niños

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