CANTON — The Canton Historical Society has rescued and moved the historic Grange building on Route 108. The historical society recently saved the former Grange from demolition by moving it next door.

The historical society had been housed in the former Universalist Church since 1975. The building had major structural issues and funds were lacking to address the problems. The members had long been trying to come up with a solution.

In May 2017, it was learned that the historic Grange/Masonic building next door had been sold to the CN Brown Company and was due to be demolished by fall in order to expand the town’s Big Apple convenience store.

The society’s choice was obvious: acquire and move the Grange building, which was larger and in far better condition than the church facility, or eventually lose both historic structures.

Growing from six to 42 members in a short time, the society accepted CN Brown’s offer to gift the building to the society, which would be responsible for moving it onto the society’s property by fall. CN Brown also donated $5,000 toward the cost of the move.

In a town-wide effort, volunteers packed the historical society’s collections for storage, moved the furniture and collections and helped dismantle the church building to make way for the move. The residents of Canton voted unanimously at a special town meeting to loan the society funds to accomplish the move.


Building movers were hired to make it happen, assisted by many volunteer hours by Canton residents.

Now the building sits on a new foundation on the society’s property, and work has begun on renovations to accommodate community and region-wide events in its Great Hall, as well as to create a secure storage and exhibit area for the Canton Historical Society’s Archives.

In order to make the space ready for year-round events and activities, the first major project is to replace all the windows with energy efficient windows. A GoFundMe crowdfunding initiative has begun and to date eight of the 21 windows have been donated in memory of Canton families or dedicated to individuals.

Those wishing may donate one window for $400 and have a brass plaque affixed to the windowsill, or donors can contribute any amount toward replacements.

The historical society launched a new website this week,, and complete information on the fundraising efforts can be found there, as well as a photo gallery documenting the building’s move.

The Canton Historical Society rescued the historic Grange building on Route 108 from demolition by moving it to the property next door. The building will now houses the Canton Historical Society. 

This photograph dated around 1910 shows Canton residents in front of the Grange Hall. The Canton Historical Society recently rescued the hall from demolition and moved it to the property pictured at left that occupies the church.

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