Kathleen and LeRoy Haynes really enjoy riding around Canton on their new tricycle built for two. They are shown in front of their business, Lumberyard Antiques, in downtown Canton.
Kathleen and LeRoy Haynes really enjoy riding around Canton on their new tricycle built for two. They are shown in front of their business, Lumberyard Antiques, in downtown Canton.
When most folks reach their 70s, they tend to slow down a little. They might not volunteer to champion as many “causes” as they used to, and spend more time relaxing at home instead of being as socially active as they were in earlier years.

This is not the case for LeRoy and Kathleen Haynes of Canton. Since they moved to Canton a half-dozen years ago, LeRoy and Kathleen have immersed themselves in commercial, civic, social and church activities, not only in Canton but in the surrounding area as well.

They purchased the former Canton Lumberyard and converted it into their Lumberyard Antiques business, which is a treasure trove of antiques, collectibles and books. Both love old “stuff” and enjoy going to auctions and estate sales to add to their massive collection. The four large rooms, plus outdoor displays, are filled with items. A back patio, with a large fish mural, serves as a nice resting spot on a warm summer day.

“We just keep buying,” LeRoy said. “I guess it’s kind of an addiction.”

LeRoy loves working with his hands and has converted one of the rooms in the former lumberyard into his shop where he repairs and/or rebuilds many of the antique pieces. Taking something that is broken down or discarded and breathing new life into it is something he finds quite rewarding.

Visiting with those who stop in their store is another reason they keep the door open and the lights on. The coffee is always on and LeRoy and Kathleen are always ready for stimulating conversation.

Kathleen grew up in Canton, while LeRoy grew up on a farm near Scotland, S.D.

LeRoy, who holds a doctor of divinity degree, has been an ordained Presbyterian minister for 52 years. He has served in churches all over the Upper Midwest and most recently served the Canton-Scotland Presbyterian Church for more than a year when the church was searching for a permanent minister. He still serves area churches as a pastoral “fill-in” and said he’s willing to serve any denomination.

Kathleen was employed as a social worker for many years. She worked for Semcac in Rushford when LeRoy was the pastor of the church there, and also for the Western Community Action Council in Marshall, in southwestern Minnesota, when LeRoy was serving a church in Redwood Falls.

They moved to Pepin, Wis., nearly 20 years ago and opened up an antique shop in a building connected to their home, and a second shop in Stockholm. LeRoy continued serving churches throughout the area as an interim pastor.

“I really enjoyed being an interim pastor, because I could come in and preach and not get involved with all the local politics…not that I don’t like talking politics,” LeRoy said with a smile.

Shortly after Kathleen’s mother, Helen Dotzenrod, passed away, the Haynes’ moved to Canton and into her large, green house on South West Street. They have spent quite a bit of elbow grease remodeling both the interior and exterior.

LeRoy loves projects. A front porch was added to the house when the old concrete steps were removed. LeRoy spent a number of weeks building a curved stone walkway from the street to the new front porch. As are many of LeRoy’s projects, this one became a labor of love. He dug up the sod, had large rocks trucked in, and began laying the rocks in a bed of sand. The summer sun was hot, so LeRoy erected a small tent to protect him from the sun and continued the project.

Besides filling in at the pulpit, working on their home and in their shop, LeRoy and Kathleen have many other irons in the fire. LeRoy loves to sing and does special music at the church. Kathleen is a deacon at the church in Canton and still plays her trumpet and/or French horn on special occasions.

The two spearheaded the creation of the Canton Historical Society and the ongoing restoration project of the 138-year-old Canton railroad depot. They also help to make sure someone is available to staff the Mitson House Museum in Canton, which is open every Saturday during the summer months. Kathleen is also the president of the Prosper Cemetery Association.

Both LeRoy and Kathleen have been working tirelessly on getting Canton connected with the state DNR bike trail. “There are only two property owners between here and Harmony who are holding out. And one of them has been a biking enthusiast for many years. It is very frustrating,” LeRoy said.

Kathleen has taken a traveling history basket to the Mabel-Canton kindergarten class to have the young children hold and examine historic artifacts. The young students and their parents were then invited to the Mitson Museum for a tour.

The couple also loves to travel. They have taken extended trips to Europe, Russia, Australia and even India when their son married a young lady who was originally from India. They plan to visit another one of their sons, Jon, his wife, Jen, and their new baby daughter, Livia Fair, in Australia in September.

Recently, the ever-youthful couple purchased a new bright red tricycle built for two. You can see them riding around Canton in the evenings. They have also had their tricycle in several area parades, promoting their antique shop.

In their spare time, LeRoy tends to his vegetable garden and raspberry patch, while Kathleen works in her many flower gardens. LeRoy still mows his own yard, and the yard at the antique shop, with a push mower.

So what is their secret to the fountain of youthfulness?

“Coming from good genes, I guess,” LeRoy said with a laugh.

“Getting along and loving each other,” Kathleen was quick to add.

“Staying active and having a family that seems to always get along. If you can keep from having a lot of strife in your life, that really seems to help,” LeRoy concluded.