As we look forward to Veterans’ Day on November 11th, I wanted to share with you some news regarding a special piece of Canton history. Many Canton residents may remember the former Collins Memorial Library building on Center Street. This building was paid for by Mrs. Howard Collins (Helen), widow of Samuel Collins’ son, on land donated to the Canton Soldiers Memorial Association by Jasper Bidwell. Mr. Bidwell was Canton’s first Civil War volunteer, and the library was built in memory of Canton’s soldiers and sailors, and was dedicated on Veterans’ Day, 1920. Two bronze plaques were installed on the library; one was in memory of Howard Collins, and the other was dedicated to Canton veterans. When the new library opened in 2000, the plaques were removed and put into storage in the Margaret “Peg” Perry History Room.
Recently, David Leff, our Town Historian, brought to my attention the existence of these plaques and their historical significance. He suggested the Veterans’ Memorial plaque be installed in a prominent location in town, and rededicated. We chose a site at the base of the flag pole at the edge of the Town Hall parking lot, in front of the Board of Education offices. … Continue Reading