Situated along the Pigeon River Valley near the Great Smoky Mountains, Canton offers a fascinating history rooted in hard work and community pride. The construction of roads, bridges, and railroad lines by the late 1800s resulted in a growing population and turned the sleepy hamlet known as Ford of Pigeon into the bustling town of Canton. Spruce and chestnut forests in the region lured Ohio industrialist Peter G. Thomson to build the Champion Fibre Company in the center of town. Today, it is known as Evergreen Packaging, and the town continues to celebrate its workforce with one of the longest-running Labor Day festivals in the nation. Canton showcases the rich industrial history of this North Carolina mountain town, while also highlighting contributions from schools, churches, community leaders, local businesses, and sports teams.