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For Genealogists

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There is quite a bit of Information for genealogists on this site - it is best accessed using the search feature above.  Note that I have almost zero additional information - it is all on the web site.  If you contact me, I will be polite but I don’t have any additional information. The best additional source of info for researchers is at the Cobourg Library where they have a local history room stocked with many historical books and documents. They do have some photos on-line but not much more - you need to visit.


victoria-hall1 smCobourg History started in 1798 but the most interesting events happened in the mid 1800's.   The railway over Rice Lake to Peterborough, the growth of the Harbour, and the building of Victoria Hall were formative.  Industries like Weller's stage coach lines and Crossen's (Railway) Car manufacturing came to town and Cobourg prospered.

In many ways, the story of the Cobourg Peterborough Railway is the story of Cobourg.  Many of the people who were significant in early Cobourg had a large role in its development.  Colin Caldwell's entertaining narrative is presented on 13 pages.

See also a shorter version by historian Ted Rafuse here.

Many early settlers in Cobourg were American and in fact, there were many wealthy Americans who came to Cobourg for the summer and this continued for most of the 19th century. Marsha Ann Tate of the Pennsylvania State University studied this.  She presented her findings to the Cobourg Historical Society and wrote a paper on the subject.

Histories that are not comprehensive yet are interesting. Includes: Ore Car ReplicaAmherst, History of Cobourg by Street names, Short History of Cobourg as told in 1878, History of Cobourg by students of CDCI West, Cobourg's Neighbour- Port Hope and some information on the really early days of the Cobourg Area as researched by the Senior Class of the Northumberland Christian School.

Some of the Industries that contributed to Cobourg's prosperity and daily life. Includes: William Weller (3 pages), Crossen Car Works (as seen by two historians), Early Industry and Movie Theatres.

Harwood Station was the last stop on the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway before it crossed the Bridge over Rice Lake.  In 2007 the Station Building came available and a group of people managed to rescue the building for future use as a Museum.  These articles are about that project and include another view of the story of the building of the ill-fated railway.

From 1907 to 1950, a ferry service carried Rail Cars and Passengers between Cobourg and Rochester.  There were two ships - Ontario 1 and Ontario 2 - and they were both used only for the Rochester to Cobourg run and sailed most days - even through the Winters.  A three page History by noted railway historian Ted Rafuse. For additional information regarding Ted's writing, self publishing and public presentations, his web site is

In addition, there is a shorter version courtesy of Don and Marilyn Macklin