Canton MI 48187
Officially called as the Charter Township of Canton, Canton is part of Wayne County in Michigan sitting about 8 miles from the west border of Detroit and 8 miles from the east border of Ann Arbor. Unlike other Michigan cities, there is no part of Canton total area that is covered by water.
In a 2010 US Census Bureau report, the township had a total population of 90,173 residents in its 36 square miles of land. This makes Canton as Michigan’s largest township and ranks as the 11th largest community in the state. It also ranks as the 96th highest income city in the country with a population of 50,000 residents or more. Most people love how Canton Township consistently ranks as one of the safest places in the US.
On March 7, 1834, under the Michigan Territorial Legislature, the Township of Canton was created out of a southern portion of Plymouth Township. Canton like other townships of Peking and Nankin, was named after the provincial capital of Imperial China known today as Guangzhou. Naming the township was from a fascination of early settlers with China and adopted several Chinese provinces but, Canton is the only remaining community left with the Chinese influenced name.
Its first government office or township hall cost about $700 to construct in 1874 located at the corner of Canton Center and Cherry Hill. From an initial of mere thousands, Canton’s population drastically to 5,300 in 1961 but residents wanted to have good government services. They voted to become one of the state’s first charter townships. With its incorporation, it allowed the township to have the police force, make ordinances, traffic rules and protection from annexation.
Its first settlers arrived from New England upon the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. However, it was no easy job living in Canton, settlers were greeted by dense forests and wild animals such as bear, wolf, and fox. To sustain their families, they started a self-sustaining farming system which provided them food as well as extra good to be bartered for other services, goods or sold it on the market. Back then, a typical family living in Canton owned at least six to eight milk cows, chicken for eggs, several sheep, and hogs for marketing and meat.
Canton’s farming becomes so efficient that the township becomes known as the “Sweet Corn Capital of Michigan.” A lot of local farms in Canton supplied their neighboring cities’ big grocery stores. Because of its prime location, Canton became a dairy farming center which produced good quality of milk and it’s by-products.