You may have noticed the nice little park on the island on RT11 in the Village of Canton. Seems like a typical village park- a gazebo, some benches, a picnic table. Well this one is all of that, and a whole bunch more. This park is the work of the Grasse River Heritage. GRH was started in 1999, and it is focused on preserving and improving the Grasse River corridor in Canton and surrounding areas.
The park on Coakley Island and Falls island, is more than just a quaint park. The island was home to some of the earliest industries of the town, and the ruins are easily seen from the trails. Signs & plaques give you a wealth of information on what you are seeing. You start by crossing a fully restored 1870’s King Iron Bowstring bridge. Sawmills and grist mills, located on a water source for power, were always the first thing a town needed to get its start. These were located here, along with several other vital industries of the day. The island is 4.4 acres of some of the most important history of the area. The GRH has done an amazing job here, as well as other projects at Willow island, the Dwight Church park and the Gray lanes/Rushton Place project. They have several projects in the works for the future, and are working in conjunction with other groups to preserve the history, environmental well-being and ecology of the Grasse River. If you are in the area, do yourself a favor, and stop in for a bit. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information, visit: http://grasseriverheritage.org/