Canton Historic District

E. Main Street

E. Main Street

The boundaries for the Canton Historic District conform to the natural features, transportation corridors, and historic development of the downtown. The principal boundaries follow the time period of 1880–1957, the proposed era of significance for the historic district, and roughly includes: the L & N Railroad line to the north and west; Dr. John Petit Street (East Street), Crisler Street, and Hospital Circle to the south; and Golf Course Road and Jeanette Street to the east. Using the historical development of the town, period of significance and geographic boundaries as a guide, the Canton Historic District can be divided into four areas: the industrial district, central business district, the turn of the century and early 20th century residential neighborhood, and the mid-twentieth century residential neighborhood. This larger historic district encompasses the earlier Canton Commercial Historic District that only included a small portion of E. Main Street. View the map of the Canton Historic District.


Etowah was the original name given to the settlement that would soon be named Canton. Etowah refers to the Etowah River, the longest and largest river in the county. The original Etowah settlement was located approximately one mile east from the courthouse square at the present intersection of Highway 20 and Golf Course Road. This was the location where Old Hightower Road intersected with the Alabama Road. Although Cherokee County formed in late 1831, it was not until 1833 that the state named Etowah as the seat of the county. Early settlers John P. Brooke, Joseph Donaldson, and William Grisham helped win this prestigious honor by donating around 300 acres of land on a bluff overlooking the Etowah River one mile west from the frontier settlement for the location of a new town. The town still retained the name of Etowah, but it was changed one year later to Canton.


Canton Historic District is significant in the area of architecture for its excellent examples of historic residential, commercial, industrial, and community landmark buildings representing the common architectural types and styles found throughout Georgia in the late 19th and early-to-mid-20th centuries. Architectural styles represented during this period of construction range from Italianate to minimal traditional. The Canton Historic District contains numerous, intact, excellent examples of late 19th-to early-to-mid-20th-century common house types and styles found throughout Georgia and defined in the statewide historic context by: House Types in Georgia and Georgia Historic Resources Survey Manual. The majority of the houses in the proposed district lie south and southeast of the central business district along or near Main Street. The area north and southwest of the central business district along Riverdale Circle and Academy Street comprises the mill-village, known as the “old village.”

Excerpts from the Canton Historic District National Register Nomination written by Jayne Bernhard

180. 390 E. Marietta   IM000477.JPG  9. Streetscape of Waleska looking south

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