Canton, South Dakota, population 3,220, is located just 10 miles east of Interstate 29 on US Highway 18 and is approximately 20 miles south of Sioux Falls. A strong Norwegian heritage dominates its historical roots. Restored historical buildings in the business district add to the flavor of its history. Canton is surrounded by Newton Hills State Park, Big Sioux River, and the rolling hills of the Sioux Valley. Canton is the County Seat of Lincoln County and was awarded the 2004 Community of the Year by Governor Mike Rounds at the annual Governors Economic Development Conference. Our community’s welcoming atmosphere and our rich, 140 year history, will make you feel at home.
The earliest known visitor to the area was Lewis P. Hyde, who first came to the area in 1866. The first actual settler was August Linderman. By 1868 there were 35 people living in Lincoln County. The residents named the community Canton, believing the location to be the exact opposite of Canton, China. By the summer of that year a caravan of 180 Norwegian settlers crossed the Big Sioux River to make their home in Canton. In 1880, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad crossed the Big Sioux River to reach Canton. The city still has an active rail freight service. The city has many historical homes & buildings dating back to the late 1800’s. The Kennedy Mansion, on Dakota Street, is a must to see as well as the Historical Society House built in 1886. Lincoln County Courthouse built in 1889 and Canton Lutheran Church built in 1908 are just a few of Canton’s historical sites.
Recreation / Community Events
Newton Hills State Park, located 6 miles south of Canton, offers camping and picnicking, as well as horseback riding, nature trails and cross country skiing throughout the park. Canton also has a 9-hole golf course with a club house for dinner or banquets. Our city hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. The summer starts with our Optimist Youth Days Carnival the first weekend in June. Our largest event, the Canton Area Car Show, takes place downtown annually on the 4th Sunday in July. The Big Sioux River Folk Festival in August attracts over 5,000 each year. The summer ends with our 4-H Achievement Days held on the 4-H fairgrounds behind the hospital. Our fall event is our annual Depot Days held in September, followed by the Canton Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas Parade and Visit with Santa the 1st Saturday in December.
Unique shops line Canton’s downtown business district. Several Antique Emporiums and the newly refurbished Train Depot draw shoppers and tourists from miles around.
- City Hall: 210 N Dakota Avenue Canton, SD 57103
- Phone: 605-987-2881
- Fax: 605-987-2972
- Website: cityofcantonsd.com
Source: City of Canton