After a thorough investigation involving the Canton Fire Marshal and Canton Police Department, it has been determined that the fire which destroyed the Historic Cady-Boyer Barn and severely damaged the adjacent silo was caused by a combination of the careless use of ground fireworks (specifically colored smoke bombs) and the burning of paper as part of the creation of a social media post.
While the fire was unintentional, this incident serves as a strong reminder that even small novelty fireworks can cause significant damage. Fireworks of all types should be kept a safe distance from structures, should never be handled by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and should only be used under close adult supervision.
Although the destruction of the Cady-Boyer Barn is a significant loss to the Canton community, the Township is grateful that no individuals were hurt, and that none of the other historic structures at Preservation Park were damaged.
The investigation comes after a fire on Sunday, May 30, destroyed the Cady-Boyer Barn, located at 500 N. Ridge Road in Preservation Park. Firefighters battled the blaze, which engulfed the wooden building quickly, for over an hour but the entire structure was lost.
Built before the Civil War, the Cady-Boyer Barn was moved in 2006 from its original location at McClumpha and Joy Roads, to its present location at 500 N. Ridge Road thanks to a generous donation from Bob Boyer, a local businessman and Canton resident. Amish craftsmen were hired to dismantle the barn and rebuild it utilizing old-world craftsmanship and skills, including hand-numbering every board and plank for reassembly. The Canton Historical Society was instrumental in facilitating the barn’s relocation from Plymouth-Canton Community Schools’ grounds to its final location in Canton’s Preservation Park.
Although the 1930s white silo, which was added to the barn in 2009 to complete the quintessential rural farm setting, remains standing, its structural integrity is still being investigated.
“For the past 15 years, the Cady-Boyer Barn has been one of Cherry Hill Village’s treasured landmarks,” stated Greg Hohenberger, Canton Leisure Services Director. “It’s such a loss because the massive red barn and silo anchored all of the historic properties in this park and were so visible from Ridge Road. This great reminder of Canton’s agricultural roots will really be missed.”
Preservation Park is home to serval historical Canton properties, as well as the Canton Farmers Market, which is held every Sunday now through October 17. Future open-air Markets will continue to be held rain or shine, despite this recent structural loss. For over the past 10 years, the Cady-Boyer Barn was prominently featured in the Canton Historical Society’s “Brews, Brats, and Bands at the Barn” popular fundraising event, which is held annually each fall and is expected to be held once again on September 11, 2021.