About 20 miles east of Ogdensburg  lies Canton, artist Frederic Remington’s birthplace. Settled by Vermonters in the early 1800s, Canton today is a busy small town (pop. 11,120), best known as the home of St. Lawrence University.
Detour to Canton for a unique Traditional Arts gallery located in a historic downtown building (53 Main St., 315/386-4289, www.tauny.org , 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4p.m. Sat., admission by donation). A North Country Folk Store offers buyable art made through traditional practices in the region, three exhibits detail specific elements of local life, and a portrait gallery of North Country Heritage Award winners rounds out the facility which offers hands on demonstrations and lectures by skilled artisans.
Exhibits in the past have highlighted such subjects as St. Lawrence River fishing arts, Mohawk tourist arts, quilts and quilting bees, and Old Order Amish crafts. Thoughtfully laid out displays offer plenty of background information and photographs.
The gallery is also a good place to find out about folk-arts events. Storytelling still thrives in the North Country, and there are occasional traditional-music concerts and dance fests. One of the region’s biggest traditional celebrations is the Festival of North Country Folklife, held in nearby Massena .
Now run by the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, this columned Greek Revival mansion (3 E. Main St., 315/386-8133, noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., free admission) once belonged to U.S. senator and New York governor Silas Wright. Regarded as an honest and intelligent man, Wright was so respected by his neighbors that he won his first election to the state senate in 1823 by 199 votes to one; legend has it that he himself cast the one dissenting vote. The first floor of the house has been restored to its 1830–50 period appearance, while upstairs are local history exhibits. St. Lawrence County is one of the largest and least populated counties east of the Mississippi.