Canton's Islands The Grasse River flows north to the St. Lawrence River and divides into west and east channels as it flows around the islands. Stillman Foote built the first sawmill and gristmill on the west bank of the Grasse River in 1801-02. Getting the Names Straight: On the south side of Main Street, what today is called "Willow Island" or "Canton Island Park" was once known as "Champlin Island" or "Cook Island," taking the names of prominent businessmen. The land you are standing on now has been referred to as "Coakley Island" for almost a hundred years. But during the 19th century it was known as "Mill Island" and was where A.E. Smith, L.B. Storrs, and Gardner and Veitch had their businesses before J.P. Coakley bought the property in 1917. The King Iron Bridge connects Coakley Island to Falls Island. This 4.4 acre island was the heart of 19th century Canton industry. Early maps refer to Falls Island by names such as Hodskin, Spears, Huse, or Coakley. Dwight Church, 1939; SLU ODY Archives "The Grasse River Flowing Through Canton"Dwight Church, 1958, SLU, ODY Archives. "Over Falls Island Looking South at Coakley Island, Canton's Main Street Bridges, Canton's Main Street Bridges and Willow Island." Canton Town and Village Historian's Office. "Looking East on Main Street, Through the Covered Bridge." Built in 1867, and replaced in 1904, this covered bridge crossed the west channel of the Grasse River and served as the entry way from Ogdensberg or Gouverneur.