pictured is the 1907 greaves house. the greaves house is one of a number of historic post civil war homes in the canton downtown historic district. note, the greaves house is a private residence and is not open to the public.
the madison county historical society is located in the 1870 madison county jail. today there is a small museum at the jail and a old settlers cabin on the grounds. the old madison county jail is listed on the national register of historic places.
pictured is the 1852 mosby house. for those interested in antebellum architecture canton has a number of architecturally significant antebellum homes in the downtown historic district. note, the mosby house is a private residence and is not open to the public.
canton has a very vibrant downtown historic district. downtown canton hosts a number of good restaurants and shops. the canton downtown historic district is listed on the national register of historic places.
the madison county courthouse was built in 1857 in the late victorian style. the madison county couthouse is only one of seven county courhouses in the state of mississippi that predate the civil war. the madison county courthouse is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in southern history and architecture the madison county courthouse is worth a look when in canton.
There are a number of old agricultural factories along the freight rail spur line that comes just south of the plaza area. The old farmers coop building is overgrown with vines. I got lost wandering through this area when trying to find Cristina's Back Porch.
At one time, Canton was a major stop on the passenger train line running between Chicago and New Orleans. Now, the passenger train service is rendered unimportant by the interstate highway, and Amtrak train service takes another route. But, the train depot is national landmark. The Depot building has been restored and turned into a Train Museum.
The residential neighborhoods immediately around the courthouse square include a few homes that have been abandoned. Among these are architectural gems that would have long ago been either bulldozed or restored if placed in my native state of California. Vines growing on haunted Victorian style homes is very much out of my normal experience.
Beyond the lawn and beautiful wrought iron fence of the courthouse, there are four sides of venerable commercial buildings, mostly built during the late 19th century. Most of these have been fully restored now, and in fact the entire center of town is a registered historic national landmark. Of notable interest to the county history would be the Exchange Bank building that no doubt provided local sharecroppers and farmers loans to buy seed.
Reportedly one of seven pre-civil war courthouses remaining, the Madison County Courthouse in Canton is the only one not greatly altered. Actually, Canton was the 4th county seat of Madison county, and the purchase of the property and courthouse construction was a considerable county investment at the time. The town's name of Canton is likely related to a person of Chinese ethnicity, referred to as a "servant" who may have been buried somewhere in the 40 acres previously known as "Deer Stand" that were purchased in 1834. The present building was constructed and first used in 1857. The distinctive wrought iron fence surrounding the Courthouse plaza was added the following year. The building suffered some damage from a tornado that struck the Canton in 1976. The Building is still used for county business, but unfortunately, the interior is a maze of offices and provides nothing of interest to the visitor. The simplicity of the beauty in the exterior Greek revival style columns, portico, and dome need little explanation. The lawn that surrounds the courthouse is the site for the annual flea market in Canton.
located across the street from the old jail is the old canton cemetery. many confederate solders are buried here from battle sites around central mississippi.