Carl Svenson Jr., 67, and his friend, Clair Wilder, have a few memories. They and Svenson's cousin, Helen Beears, were dubbed "the three musketeers" in their youth as they roved the town and explored the landscape.
In 1868, Samuel Collins, the founder of the axe factory, built a Methodist church where the Canton Public Library now stands. It was active for 30 years, Svenson said, but the Congregational denomination grew faster.
Itinerant acting troupes, lecturers and light opera productions appeared on the altar, now a stage. Some shows such as "H.M.S. Pinafore," made use of local talent, [Barbara Elston Lowell] said. And for "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a great crowd pleaser, the production cast several residents' bloodhounds, the breed required by the play. Lowell even gives an account of hometown boys getting free passes for leading the dogs in a parade staged to advertise the show.