Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canton Church Historical Site

Townsend, MT  High 92  Low 57

We’ve had a couple of great excursions this summer. The first one was at the Montana Historical Society in Helena.

They were celebrating Helena’s 150th birthday and Ellen Baumler who writes the Montana Moments blog was the speaker. I love Ellen’s blog and I was very impressed with her presentation. She talked about the buildings in Helena and the history behind them. It was fascinating. Ellen is an interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society and really knows her stuff.

A couple of weeks later, Judy called and wanted to know if we wanted to join her and Don in a visit to the Canton Church where the Williams Family was playing. That would be a definite yes.

P1080822In 1872, Canton boasted a mercantile, post office, saloon and dance hall, a doctor, and a hotel. The church was constructed in 1876. It is the state’s oldest standing Roman Catholic church not built by a religious order. The Northern Pacific bypassed Canton in favor of Townsend in the 1880s and after World War II, federal officials planned to upgrade Canyon Ferry Dam and raise the reservoir. In its path lay 4,000 farm acres and the village of Canton. In 1952, St. Joseph’s was moved two and a half miles to a higher location before water swallowed the town.

P1080828The church has been restored by volunteers and donations and offers programs during the summer. The Williams Family play some country, some bluegrass, and some rock. Those boys could really play the fiddles. However, one boy is headed to Costa Rica and one to Maryland so I’m not sure what is going to happen to the family band.

We really enjoyed ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll get to a couple more performances before the summer is over.


Beautiful views from the Church. That’s Canyon Ferry Lake, Jim’s fishing hole, in the distance.


Fresh walleye for dinner tonight.


  1. It's always a shame to see a musical family break up but somehow the kids insist on growing up. I'm glad you got to enjoy this one.

  2. Beautiful countryside where you were... From a mountain girl like me, I'll say: "Woooo--that is FLAT ground".... ha

    Love that old church and I'm sure you enjoyed hearing the Williams Family.

    Bet Ellen's blog is interesting... I'm sure her presentation was good also.


  3. We enjoyed that museum when we were there. I was surprised when we went inside how big it was.

  4. Added that to our list, we really like old churches.

  5. Fresh Walleye sounds awesome, love it!

  6. It's always good when these older buildings are saved and even better that it is being utilized.

  7. We've visited a lot of old churches. Some of them sure are beautiful. I'd much rather see them remodeled than torn down.

  8. Good work on the fishing expedition, Jim!

  9. What a daring church. I bet the music was just so beautiful.

    Yea for Jim. He got a great catch.

  10. What a beautiful old church....
    Sounds like Jim is getting some good fishing in!

  11. That church really looks like it's in the middle of nowhere.

  12. Fresh walleye! Sorry I missed it! Friends gave us a lot this summer, Roger bought a cooker, and several neighbors came for the fish fry. My first time having walleye - wonderful!

    Nice to see places of interest close to home.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.