Special Projects

The Canton Area Heritage Center does special projects with other organizations. The museum board also seeks out students for a variety of volunteer opportunities that will provide them enhanced learning and leadership avenues.

Students Pandemic Reflections

This 2021 project involved the Canton Area Heritage Center, history students and their teacher at Canton High School (CHS). Online surveys asked CHS students to describe their COVID-19 Pandemic reflections. The student leaders who worked on this project created research questions, developed a plan to reach out to their age-mates, and then extracted key findings and implications from the data they collected. A report summarized the high school students’ Pandemic experiences.

Women’s History Month: Canton Women of Note

March is Women’s History Month. The Canton Area Heritage Center museum has commemorated it with a new permanent exhibit. It’s focused on the contributions and achievements of women in history, society, and culture. Museum volunteers selected seven Canton women to feature. Visitors will learn more about these women who were pioneers in several non-traditional careers. The “Canton Women of Note” include Marjorie Rich Bordner, Dorothy I. Fennell, Elizabeth A. Kovachevich, Elizabeth Magie, Barbara Gross Mertz, Signa Axcell Thomas, and Harriet Vittum.

We’re also featuring Canton women excelling in sports. The five include Alicia Curtis (class of 1983}; Nancy L. Rabel (class of 1990); Nora Weber Corbitt (class of 1993); Sarah Taylor Hopwood (class of 1994); and, Virginia Barnard (Top Sports Fan, inducted into Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994). These women are among the first to be inducted into the Canton Little Giants Hall of Fame. Thank you for being our local trailblazers!

A tour of the museum is encouraged as both notable women and men of Canton and their accomplishments are on display. Museum hours are Fridays, 10am-12 noon; Saturdays, 10am-2pm; and Sundays, 1-3pm.

Historic Farming Tribute for the Bicentennial

In planning phase…

From its 1825 beginnings, Canton, Illinois and the surrounding Fulton County communities have been steeped in agriculture and farming, which is still a major economic driver of the area. Canton was also the home to P & O Plow Works which eventually became International Harvester. The Canton Area Heritage Center consists of a dedicated group of volunteers who wish to undertake a project showcasing the significance of agriculture by researching, creating, sharing, and collaborating with some very special farm families. We look forward to unveiling the display at Canton’s Bicentennial Celebration in June, 2025. The group will focus on the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s list of families whose farms have been designated as Sesquicentennial Farms.