Know Your Org: Canton Historical Society

"Know Your Org" is an informational series designed to spotlight some of the wonderful organizations in our community. This month we are highlighting the Canton Historical Society.

The Canton Historical Society (CHS) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is managed by volunteer staff. The society’s mission is to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Canton Township. We spoke with CHS Board of Directors Trustee Kimberly Mabie to find out more about the society and their work in the Canton community. 


The Canton Historical Society’s mission is achieved through community education, activities, participation and promoting the interpretation of the community throughout Canton’s civic history.

While the society values Canton’s historic buildings and sites, they also strive to represent the people who have lived and continue to live in Canton. CHS is working towards creating and maintaining strong partnerships with diverse groups as a means to engage the local community in the history of Canton.


The Canton Historical Society was formed in 1975 by a small group of Canton residents with a dual purpose: to bring together people interested in the history of Canton Township and to establish a museum accessible to the public.

Within two years, the society was formally established, and its first major project was to acquire the use of the Canton Center Schoolhouse, which was renovated and now serves as the Canton Historical Museum. CHS has been busy ever since: they are currently the custodians of the Canton Historical Museum as well as sites at Preservation Park in Cherry Hill Village including the Agricultural Barn Museum, the Bartlett-Travis House and several historic outbuildings.

Society Structure

In 2023, the historical society had over 140 memberships. Its Board of Directors consists of nine elected members serving three-year terms: president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and five directors. Each member serves on several different committees or projects alongside their dedicated volunteers. Some of the committees include genealogical research, community outreach, activity planning, archive and artifact preservation, and fundraising.

The Canton Historical Society in Action

CHS promotes the history of Canton Township with exhibits at the Canton Historical Museum and educational activities in the Agricultural Barn at Preservation Park. These no-cost, history-based exhibits and activities give the CHS multiple opportunities to educate residents of all ages on specific facets of Canton’s past.

The society engages the community by making the Township’s heritage accessible via social media outlets, their website, events at historic sites, and their quarterly newsletter. One of the society’s current projects is documenting the history of the religious institutions in Canton.

The Canton Center School Museum is open from late-April through mid-September on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Agricultural Barn Museum is open on Sunday mornings during the Farmers Market season at Preservation Park. If you would like a tour of Bartlett-Travis House, please contact the society. The society also has an archive that is accessible by appointment only.

Want to Get Involved?

“It’s often thought that Canton Township doesn’t have much ‘history’ or that it’s only about the pioneer settlers of the area, however, our history is rich and diverse," Mabie says. "There is a lot of history here and we’re still making it. Everyone that has visited or lived in Canton—be it for an hour, a year, or a lifetime—has history here. You have history here. If you feel this way too, please consider joining the CHS to help create and preserve our shared history while keeping our community vibrant and prosperous.”

Anyone can get involved with the Canton Historical Society and the volunteer opportunities are endless. You could serve as a museum docent, interview residents, write articles for their newsletter, photograph local sites, help prepare new exhibits, or start a new project. You can also join CHS and help support their work through low yearly membership dues.

CHS meets on the third Monday of each month at 7:00 PM to discuss business, projects, and other timely issues. Their meeting site is usually at the Canton Township Hall, however, due to holidays, an alternate location may be used. Please contact the Board of Directors prior to the meeting if you would like to attend.

CHS accepts both monetary donations and physical objects, and offers sponsorship opportunities to local businesses.  To find out more, please visit their website or Facebook page, or email them at