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Canton

Canton is the second largest town in Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It is located about 13mi west of Asheville, North Carolina and is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is named after the city of Canton, Ohio. The population was 4,227 people at the 2010 Census.HistoryThe 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.
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