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Roger Keagle's Complied History of Canton, Bradford County PA
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Grover Village is Historic Place
Settled by Pioneers from New England
Grover is a small village located about four miles southwest of Canton, on the headwaters of the Towanda Creek.  It is 1,200 feet above sea level.  The population is about 200.  Many hills surround the quiet community and nearby are the ever beautiful Cedar Ledge rocks.

The creek flowing through the present town of Grover was once the path of a tribe of Dawantoa Indians.  These Indians were a tribe of Iroquois.  Their chief settlement was at the present town of Towanda.


Grover’s original settlers came from New England.  The first known settler was Jonas Gere, who came here from Rhode Island in 1795.  He took up land, cleared it, and started farming.  In 1799 he sold this property to Orr Scovill and moved away

The town was named for Isaiah Grover who came here from Connecticut, in what year is not certain.  Different recordings show the years 1797, 98 and 99.  Early in its history, Grover was called Beaver Dam.  Later it was called Locks Mills.

At the upper part of the town are beautiful falls, surrounded by high rocks and covered with pretty moss.  At the site of these falls was once located a grist mill.  Part of the old dam is all that can be seen of the mill today.

Near the grist mill was a tannery.  There were several houses built around the tannery for its employees and their families.  There are none of these buildings left today, but the home of the former owner, Daniel Innes, is still standing.  A hill near the site of the old tannery is called “Tannery Hill” to this day.

During the lumber boom a planning mill was built near the creek in the lower part of the town.  Logs were brought in from neighboring hills.

At that time there was also a shoe peg factory.  It stood at the site of the present Grover Farms milk plant.

The Pennsylvania Railroad went through Grover in 1853.  A station was built on the left side of the road leading into town, across the tracks from the present station.  The present station was opened on Jan. 6, 1891 with the late John R. Wright as its first agent.  Passenger trains made regular stops here until the year 1940.  The town still has regular mail service five times each day.

Exterior view, Grover Farms milk plant, Grover, Pa.
Store in Grover

East Canton is Early Settlement
Once Rivaled Canton in Size, Importance

A pleasant village in the midst of a thrifty farming community is East Canton, home of about 50 people, and located three miles east of Canton on the concrete highway leading to Towanda.  Attractive, well kept homes give the community an atmosphere of moderate prosperity.  It is strictly a residential locality, the only commercial or business enterprises being a general store.

East Canton at the present time is practically as large in population as it ever was.  There was a time, however, when the business done there was far more extensive than it is now, there being a number of years ago, blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, and a cooper shop, among other similar industries of the “early America.”

The only store in the community now is operated by Jack Huffman, Jr.  He has been in business there for three years, succeeding his father who ran the store for several years.  From 1890 until the time 23 years afterward when John S. Mott took it over, the store was conducted by J. M. Smiley, father of Miss Clara Smiley who still resides in the community.  Mr. Smiley’s predecessors were Berman and Beardslee, Beardslee & Cornell and Beardslee & Kymer, the former being J. M. Beardslee and the latter Milton S. Kymer, a retired Methodist minister who died some time ago.

The school at East Canton has a good attendance, and the teacher is Mrs. Rosemary Golden.

The only church in the village now is of the Methodist denomination, the Rev. Owen Barrett being the pastor.  This church is 118 years old, being founded before the Methodist Church in Canton borough.  There was a Presbyterian church in East Canton until 25 years ago, when it was abandoned and the congregation consolidated with that of Canton.  This church, too, was very old, being organized over 100 years ago.  An appropriate observance of the 100th anniversary was held at East Canton in the site of the old church, a number of former pastors participating.

There was a time years ago, when East Canton rivaled Canton in size and importance.  This was when Canton was known as “Canton Corners,” both receiving their name from the Connecticut township of the same name, the native home of many of the section’s early settlers.  There were churches and stores at East Canton, before there were such places in Canton.

In the old time East Canton one of the well known citizens was James Barnes, who conducted a blacksmith shop for 40 years.  In 1893, the Silverdale Creamery Co. was organized at East Canton and for years was very prosperous.  Later, however, it was taken over by the Rosedale Dairy co. and consolidated with the Canton unit.  W. T. Lawrence was the first secretary of the company and was one of the community’s best loved citizens.  The creamery was managed by J. M. Smiley at the time its activity ceased.

The Landon Wagon business was East Canton’s most important commercial enterprise for years.  This business was founded by Warren Landon, grandfather of George D. Landon of Towanda and misses Anna and Juliet Landon who still reside at East Canton.  The original firm name was Warren Landon & Son.  Hundreds of wagons were sold yearly by this firm for years, and painters, trimmers, carpenters, iron workers, were employed steadily.  Some business was done later by Eugene Landon in this line, but it was trivial compared with that of the “boom” days which followed the Civil War.

Another staunch East Canton citizen was the late Thomas S. Manley, descendent of a pioneer in the community.  The farm which he worked for years is now owned by Franklin Bohlayer.

Early settlers in the East Canton section included Elias Wright and Jerome Wright of Connecticut; Solomon Brown from Vermont, in whose home the Methodists first organized; Thomas Williams from Massachusetts, Thomas Manley from Connecticut, and John VanDyke from Towanda, all locating in the years from 1815 to 1820.  Laban Landon, a lifeguard on Washington’s staff for the duration of the Revolutionary War, located in the township in 1799, being a native of New Jersey.

A daughter of Jerome Wright, one of the early settlers at East Canton was Melissa Wright, who was the mother of J. M. Smiley, and grandmother of Miss Clara Smiley.

The first school in the township was conducted in the winter of 1801-1802 by Loren Kingsbury.  The first white child born in the township was Joshua G. Landon, son of Laban Landon.  The date of the event is February 27, 1800.  Laban Landon built the first frame house in the township, 1811, and Thomas S. Manley owned the first spring wagon in the township.

--Canton Independent-Sentinel Anniversary Edition in 1950

Page 274
Cedar Ledge Rocks

From a lofty vantage point on Cedar Ledge Rocks, south of Canton, Pa., and several hundred feet above the Canton-Williamsport highway, a beautifully, thrilling view of the surrounding terrain may be had.

For many years these rocks have been the goal of hiking and picnic parties.  In wonder at the view unfolded, it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that here in earlier times, many a primitive Indian has shaded his eyes against the sun, looking out at the surrounding wilderness for signs of friend or foe.  Here too, no doubt, many a smoke signal was used, the rising smoke sending a message to some other brave on some other hilltop.

History relates that there was an Indian Trail up the valley at the foot of this rugged rock formation, making a pathway north and south, connecting the tribes located at what is now Sunbury, Pa., and the Six Nations of New York State.

Many arrowheads have been found in fields near by, suggesting a skirmish either between hostile Indian tribes, or between Indians and whites.

Cedar ledge Rocks look down upon both the Williamsport highway and the Pennsylvania Railroad and farm land of Horace Spalding, who operates a big poultry farm on the east side of the highway.

Mr. Spalding is a direct descendent of the Ezra Spalding who came to Canton Township around 1796.

Byron G. Williams
Elmira Sunday Telegram

The date this article was published is not known, but since its publication, the face of Cedar Ledge Rocks has changed dramatically.  The table rock which was one of the most prominent features of the rock formation, has suffered a landslide and left a huge scar.  At one time the table rock that projected beyond the ledge of rocks was a favorite place for photographers.  Many a photograph was taken of people standing on this projecting rock.

--Roger M. Keagle

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 07 FEB 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
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