Canton Square Gets New Look On Old Business

By Emily West

July 15, 2010 Updated Mar 20, 2008 at 7:50 PM CDT

Canton's downtown square has a new addition. It is not huge in size, but big in the minds and hearts of many throughout the city.

A new sign goes up at a downtown Canton business. It signifies a new name for the business, but not for the square.

Co-owner Kent Janssen said, "The Orendorff Emporium pretty much encompasses a name for all the different businesses in there."

Local historian & business owner Mike Walters said, "It's had about 14 different businesses in the building since 1887. It's nice to get the name back."

According to Walters, the building was originally a General Store owned by the influential Orendorff's. Their name is still at the top of the building.

Today it's not quite a general store, but still has a variety of stock inside.

Eight businesses in total are in the historic building. They include a cafe, dance studio, Girls Boutique.

The co-owners say they hope to see more businesses along the square go in a similar direction.

"Hopefully we can get more business down here and get people to come back to downtown Canton to do their shopping locally."

The new main street association hopes to revitalize the downtown area, while also helping residents save money by not having to drive out of town to find what they need.

"The square has really deteriorated for the last 30 years ever since International Harvester closed up. For the past 23 years it's been hard for businesses to come in to the middle of town," said Walters.

Fire recently destroyed several buildings along the town square. The owners say they are trying to take precautions to prevent that.

"We replaced a lot of the plumbing and wiring," said Janssen.

And with the improvements and the possibility of more along the square many in Canton hope to see growth in the near future.

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