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Canton Village

Canton Village Hall is located at 60 Main Street, Canton NY 13617; phone: 315-386-2871.

Beginnings [1]

Since the early 19th century Canton has served as the county seat for St. Lawrence County and as the commercial and social center for the surrounding rural areas. Canton was designated as the county seat in 1828 although the village was not incorporated until 1845. Silas Wright, governor of New York from 1844 to 1847, is credited with much of the early planning and development of the village center. From 1819, when he arrived in Canton as a young lawyer, Wright's political career followed a steady course from village postmaster to state senator (1824-1827), to Congressman (1827-1829), to State Comptroller (1829-1834), to United States Senator (1834-1844), and finally to Governor in 1844. St. Lawrence University was founded in Canton in 1856. The University, which today is a distinguished liberal arts institution, was begun as a theological school for Universalist seminarians. Like many other college towns, Canton's subsequent growth and prosperity has been inextricably connected with the university.

  1. Gobrecht, Larry E., New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Canton Post Office, Canton NY, nomination document, 1986, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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