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This site has recently been expanded to include historical information from the Cobourg History site.  All information previously on this site is still here.  Some Google searches may now end up here - use the site search box if you don't immediately find what you are looking for.

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Based on the advice from the Town of Cobourg and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, face to face meetings at Victoria Hall have been cancelled until further notice. In order to stay connected and to keep you safe during the pandemic, monthly meetings are taking place by Virtual Zoom webinars. You can join by desktop or a laptop computer, tablet or smart phone!


Cobourg and District Historical Society Meetings are held every month except May, June, July, August and December.  Meetings are held in the Citizen's Forum in Victoria Hall on the fourth Tuesday in the Month.  Meetings start at 7:30pm but coffee and cookies are available starting at 7:00pm.  Meetings are $5 for non-members and free for members of the society and students. 

More on our About page.


The lives of the movers and shakers of Cobourg helps in understanding how things happen and were made to happen.

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Cobourg's Father of Confederation

In 1848, the parliament of West Canada (formerly Upper Canada) was established and Cobourg was then part of the Riding of West Northumberland. Accepting the nomination of 350 petitioners, James Cockburn was elected into this Parliament in 1861.

Thus began a successful political career for a man of tact and courtesy who would provide a steadying influence in the turbulent years of Canada's birth.

Henry Ruttan (June 12, 1792 – July 31, 1871) was a businessman, inventor and politician figure in Upper Canada.

He was born in Adolphustown in 1792 son of William Ruttan (United Empire Loyalist). At the age of 14, he left school to work in a store in Kingston. He served in the Northumberland Militia during the War of 1812 and was wounded at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. After the war, he remained in the militia and reached the rank of colonel. He left the militia in 1846 but was called back into service from 1860 to 1862. He set up a business (a store) in Grafton in 1815. The site of this store is usually placed on the “Heenan property” south of St. Mary’s along the old Danforth Road.

A Short History of the Concert band of Cobourg - Based on material by Band Historian - Bob Irvine

The origin of the Concert Band of Cobourg can be traced back to 1855 when the Cobourg Brass Band made its debut.

It became associated with the military in 1862 and also became known as The Band of the 6th Northumberland Militia.

Marie Dressler was born as Leila Marie Koerber in Cobourg on November 9, 1869. She went on to become one of the great Hollywood movie stars of her time. Her heritage home on King street, Cobourg, now houses a small but moern interactive museum of  about her life. More on her home below.