Welcome to Canton, Missouri, where rolling, tree covered bluffs slope gently down to the banks of the Mississippi River.
Founded in 1830, Canton in its early days thrived as a port where crops grown in the fertile bottom lands of the Mississippi were transported via packet boats and sternwheelers to feed a growing country.
Unlike other small river towns, which died by the hand of progress, Canton adapted and thrived. Rail lines were established. Dirt roads became highways. In the 1930’s, Lock and Dam 20 was constructed, and where once sternwheelers churned now massive barges lock through the dam on their way to feed and fuel a growing world.
Canton is a blend of its historical past with a renewed focus on the future…..homes built in the 1800’s on wide tree lined streets and tiny homes……an old fashioned soda fountain and web page designers…..a manufacturing plant and a distribution facility for a grass-fed, additive free meats.
There’s a sense of stability in small town living that can only be known by experiencing it. Knowing your neighbors, the school teachers, being involved in community activities …these aren’t Norman Rockwell cliches, but a way of life.
Despite its small town atmosphere, Canton has proven to be an ideal location for progressive minded business people and industry. Ayers Oil Company, one of the country’s largest petroleum distributors, has for fifty years used Canton as its base of operations. Coil Manufacturing, a division of Charles Industries, produces equipment used in the telephone industry. Canton Marine Towing is one of the largest operations of its type on the Mississippi River. US Wellness Meats, a distributor of grass-fed, additive-free meats, has recently opened their new facitility at Canton and will soon offer a local retail service counter of their products.
The link between past and progress is evident in agriculture as well. Farming is still a vital part of the community and it’s not uncommon to see a fully loaded grain truck make way for an Amish carriage carrying baskets of apples.
Canton is proud of its educational heritage as well. Founded in 1853 as the first co-educational college west of the Mississippi, Culver-Stockton College, a four year liberal arts institution, has shared its resources with the community and through the years has provided it with countless educational and cultural activities. The community in return has supported the college and celebrated its successes in educational achievements, athletics, and the arts.
Just off of the Avenue of the Saints is a quaint small town with a backdrop of the Mississippi river that offers a variety of recreation, natural beauty, along with things to do, dining and outdoor activities that make a day trip, conference or weekend getaway memorable.
Canton, Missouri offers something for everyone. Fishing in the mighty Mississippi, eagle spotting, wildlife watching, biking, boating, camping are just few of the activities Canton has to offer our visitors. Check our calendar and join in a local festival or event. Enjoy a colorful bike ride along the Mississippi. Attend a theatrical performance, musical or sporting event at Culver-Stockton college. Shop in our unique stores located in our downtown or near the interstate. Take in a movie in our restored Lewis Street Playhouse. Enjoy a variety of food and drink whether it is home cooking, mouth watering Bar-B-Que, Chinese, Mexican, subs or pizza, we have something that will sure to please everyone. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it here in Canton, Mo!