The Former Collins Company, Canton

The Former Collins Company, Canton – Hartford Daily Photo

This rural town in western Hartford County is located on the Farmington River and lies on land originally part of Simsbury.  After Canton’s incorporation in 1806, the town’s industries, once dominated by resin, pitch, and turpentine making along with saw and grist mills, diversified.  The Collins Axe Company, founded in 1826, used early mass-production techniques and soon became the world-leading axe manufacturer. With this success emerged Collinsville, a company-built village complete with employee housing, stores, bank, and church.  The business closed in the 1960s, but the Collinsville historic district remains part of Canton’s economy along with small enterprise, farming, and diverse commercial operations.


The Collins Company Dry Grinding Department, Collinsville

World-renowned Maker of Axes: The Collins Company of Canton

The New England factory town of Collinsville, which can still be toured today, once supplied the world with axes, machetes, and other edge tools. …[more]

Learn More


“Canton Historical Museum,” 2010. Link.
Farmington Valley Trails Council. “The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail,” 2016. Link.


Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “Canton - WPA Architectural Survey,” 2014. Link.
“Canton Collection.” Connecticut Digital Archive, n.d. Link.


Miller, Donna. Canton and Collinsville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2002.
Canton Historical Society, and Lawrence Carlton. Canton Remembers: Incidents in Local History. Collinsville,  CT: Canton Historical Society, 2005.
Phelps, Noah A. History of Simsbury, Granby and Canton from 1642 to 1845. Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Burnham, 1845. Link.