Life, Reinvented: Canton History
From colonial farmland to the canning center of the world to a dynamic, diverse, and desirable community, time and time again, Canton has reinvented itself.
In 1786, Capt. John O’Donnell purchased 11 acres of land east of Harris Creek and called it Canton. More than 200 years later, our neighborhood continues to evolve, with new businesses, new housing options, an abundance of volunteer opportunities, an outstanding quality of life for all types of people, and so much more.
To learn more about the history of Canton, check out this fascinating (and extensive!) timeline.
Canton in 1873
At this point in the neighborhood's history, much of the land in Canton was owned by the Canton Company. In this map, you can see where the old railroad ferry was just left of the middle. That big metal structure in the water off Waterfront Park? That's the remains of the old ferry terminus, where a crane would lift rail cars off onto the tracks. Off to the west, you can see Fells Point, Locust Point, and Fort McHenry.