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Small Town of the Day – Canton, SD

Pic from city-data.com

Today’s Small Town of the Day is Canton, SD.  I first ‘heard of Canton,’  from my Grandma Minnie.  I remember her saying she went to school/college at Canton.  Canton Normal School is what she called it.  I believe the school has now been converted into apartments.

Canton is a relatively ‘large’ Small Town of the Day.  They boast a population of over 3000.  It’s another South Dakota City that is situated next to the Big Sioux River.  One of the most beautiful spots on the earth Newton Hills State Park.  According to Wikpedia,

Tales of buried gold and hideaways for horse thieves and robbers have been passed on through the years.[2] A small unit of the United States Cavalry was chased into the forest by a group of Lakota warriors. Legend holds that the soldiers had a supply of gold which they buried in the park before they were killed by the Native Americans.[3] Several searches have been made to locate the site of the battle and the gold, but so far nothing has been found.[3] Frank and Jesse James used the forests of what is now the park as a temporary hideout after their famous robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota[4] The robbery in Northfield was not successful and after this robbery and a manhunt, only Frank and Jesse James were left alive and uncaptured.[5]

Just think, if you’ve hung a tree stand and hunted deer, or hiked the trails of Newton Hills you were in the same place Jessie James made camp and probably stirred a pot of baked beans.

Recently the road going south out of Canton washed out due to heavy rains so you might have to re-route to get there. If Jessie road through today, I wonder if he’d try to jump his horse across it.

This next part, you can’t make up.  According to the history books, The residents named the community Canton, believing the location to be the exact opposite of Canton, China.  I’d love to give that city a call sometime and see how they pronounce the Chinese version of Canton as opposed to the South Dakota dialect.  I imagine it’s quite different.

You might say Canton got it’s name from a couple guys with a ‘globe’ and a curious sense between the two of them. (See Canton right below Guangzhou)

Those with a South Dakota 44 license plate know Canton quite well.  It’s the county seat to Lincoln County and when it’s time to get your vehicle licensed, you’re off and running down I-29 or Highway 11. I live on the SE part of Sioux Falls, and you can see the traffic streaming up from Canton most mornings for work.  (most of that traffic now is rerouted on 57thand 26th Streets and Sycamore Avenue due to construction.

The Canton Car Show, 4-H Achievement Days and other summertime get togethers are big happenings in Canton.

We’re going to leave the rest of this story as an open forum.  Where’s a good spot for coffee or a meal?  Best Bar?  What can you add to ‘the story of Canton?’  Let us know on our Facebook, or  hit the ‘like’ button below and leave a comment there.

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