Ongoing Projects

The Canton Historical Commission engages in a number of projects that help identify, protect, and preserve the historic assets of the Town of Canton. 

Current and ongoing projects: 

Canton Corner Cemetery - Gravestone Preservation Project (ongoing)
As the anchor site to the Canton Corner National Historic District, the Canton Corner Cemetery is a valuable and historic asset for the Town of Canton. In the inaugural year of the passage of the Community Preservation Act, the Historical Commission successfully sought for funding to clean, reset, and conserve the graves in the oldest portion of this historic site. With more than $35,000 spent to date, this is one of our largest ongoing preservation projects and will take many years to complete. Already the signs of success are showing. Through the Senior Citizen Tax Program, trained seniors as well as additional community volunteers have cleaned more than 150 historic stones. The future plans include preservation of the receiving tomb and associated vaults, as well as the construction of a new retaining wall within the oldest section of this historic site. 

Assessment of the Old English Burying Ground
In 2015, a study of the 62 gravestones at the Old English Burying Ground on Washington Street was conducted to develop a preservation plan for this sensitive historic site. The earliest surviving stone dates to 1742, with a majority of the graves representing the mid to late 18th century and as late as the early 20th century. The study will help identify the gravestones that will be washed, reset, and repaired using advanced conservation techniques. 

Inventory of Historic Resources and Sites (ongoing)
The Inventory of Cultural and Historic Resources for the Town of Canton is one of the principal and ongoing projects of the Commission.  As of 2014 the Commission has completed over 400 surveys of historic properties which are listed on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s State Register of Historic Places.  The inventory forms may be found through MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System).  Also available on MACRIS is the National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Canton Corner Historic District.  A third document is the Massachusetts Historical Commission Reconnaissance Survey Town Report of Canton, which was produced to introduce the historical development of the town.  The report includes a historical overview, a description of the topography, the political boundaries and other related topics. 

Advocacy and Support for Community Preservation Projects
With the passage of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Canton in 2012, the town now has a dedicated funding source for the care and preservation of historic buildings, sites, documents, and artifacts. The Canton Historical Commission has actively supported projects that range from the conservation of "Infantryman" - the Civil War Monument at Memorial Hall, to the restoration of the David Tilden House at Pequitside Farm. Each year, the Commission engages with the Community Preservation Committee to ensure that all historic projects funded through the CPA meet the goals of the Community Preservation Plan. To date the CPA has or will fund more than $607,000 in historic category projects. And the CPA will enable Canton to create and protect the newly established Paul Revere Heritage Site. 

The Paul Revere Heritage Site
At the 2015 Special Town Meeting, the voters of Canton established the Paul Revere Heritage Site. This project is funded through land acquired with over $1.7M in CPA bonded proceeds. What will emerge is a world-class heritage site that protects the legacy of Paul Revere and the Paul Revere & Sons Copper Rolling Mill. The Canton Historical Commission plays a pivotal roe in the creation and governance of this site with a seat on the standing committee that will oversee the creation of the heritage site.