History Field Trip 2019

Townsend Seventh Grade Students Visit Canton Church

On October 2rd the Historic Canton Church hosted the Third Annual Field Trip for the 7th Grade Students to visit the Canton Church.  Mr. Lawson and Ms. Little seventh grade students will be studying Montana History and the field trip to the Canton Church and St. Joseph’s Cemetery was an opportunity to focus on the fascinating history of Broadwater County.

The students, accompanied by Mr. Lawson and Ms. Little arrived at the Church at 09:30am. For many of the students it was their first visit to the 144 year old Canton Church – the seventh church built in Montana.  It was an opportunity for the students to actually experience the Canton Church much the same way the original Canton Valley settlers did while learning about the history of the building.

The students first went to St. Joseph’s Cemetery (the cemetery for the town of Canton) and had an opportunity to learn about some of the families that settled the Canton Valley. Afterwards the students reconvened at the Canton Church.

After an initial discussion of the history of the Canton Church and the demise of the town of Canton due to the flooding of the valley when Canyon Ferry Dam was constructed, the students learned about the history of the many towns and settlements that sprang up in what is now Broadwater County. They not only learned about Townsend, Radersburg, Toston and Winston but learned about the towns that have disappeared – Diamond City, Hassel, Placer, Centerville and the interestingly named towns of Hog’em, Beat’em and Cheat’em.

The students and teachers were treated to a lunch of hamburgers, chips, water and brownies. While some of the students chose to eat their lunch in the historic building, many of the students enjoyed the mild October weather and ate their lunch in the park in front of the Canton Church.

After lunch the students boarded the bus for the short trip to St. Joseph’s Cemetery – the cemetery for the Canton Valley.  Mr. Holland and Mr. Lawson challenged the students to discover the oldest burials, the newest burials and the family plots with the largest number of family members. The seventh graders had a great time exploring the cemetery and seeing first-hand the final resting place for many of the original settlers in the valley.

The Canton Church Restoration Board members Keith Kirscher and Robin Kirscher, Keith and Carol Obert, Gary Richtmyer and Vic Sample would like to thank Mr. Lawson, Ms. Little and the seventh graders for spending the day with us and hope they enjoyed the field trip as much as we did.