Cobourg is worth getting to know. It’s a place where neighbours connect with each other, and people call you by name when you walk down the street or push your cart down the produce aisle. It’s a simpler way of life here, yet no less thriving and growing with new housing, industry and business incentives.
And you’ll see from the many historic buildings and notable architecture, the people are proud of Cobourg’s rich past. Many have worked hard to preserve the town’s character, and balance it well with new developments and amenities.
As for the story, because of the Revolutionary War, United Empire Loyalists left their homes in the American colonies to start a new life in Upper Canada. They started clearing land in the area as early as 1778 to build homes and plant crops. Local historians say Cobourg was a military post during the War of 1812.
A limestone building on Orr Street, for some years known as the Barracks, is one of the oldest buildings in town, and may have been a soldiers’ post in those early days. Now it has been restored and become part of the Sifton-Cook
Heritage Centre & Museum alongside a vintage workman’s cottage. It is open to the public at no charge from mid-May to mid-October. See www.cobourgmuseum.ca for hours.
The settlement was named Cobourg in 1819, marking the marriage of Princess Charlotte to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, Germany, which is Cobourg’s honorary twin city. With the influx of retired army and navy officers, Cobourg grew rapidly and soon became a centre of commerce and education. Victoria College, constructed in 1832, later became one of Canada’s first universities
to grant degrees. Victoria Hall, a neoclassical three-storey civic building, was built in 1860, was symbolic of the prosperity and optimism of Cobourg during the 1850s.
By the turn of the century, the tourism industry was booming. Wealthy American industrialists discovered Cobourg was the perfect spot to spend the summer. They built the grand estate homes you’ll find along the quiet residential streets. In 1874, the Arlington Hotel opened to host high society guests for the next 50 years.
GHOST STORIES, MYSTERIES AND DARK HISTORY
Box Office, 55 King Street W.
1.888.972.4301 . Book Online
SIFTON COOK HERITAGE CENTRE
HISTORIC VICTORIA HALL
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