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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.

Many homes in Cobourg are connected to the history of the town. Here are some of them.


411 King street East, 1857

Called Sidbrook because of its most recent use as a Private Hospital, this is one of Cobourg's best known Heritage buildings.

According to the town bylaw which gave Heritage designation to the building, the "villa" was originally two storeys and had a flat roof, built for Cobourg Railway director Henry Mason. In 1868, the structure was altered to add the "High Italianate design" and the large west wing and hipped roof. Toronto architect Kivas Tully, who designed Victoria Hall, was involved in this work.

The third floor of the building was added in 1900 by William Abbott of Pittsburgh, an associate of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Also added at that time was the "Beau-arts Corinthian portico with balcony and its one-storey Corinthian porch," according to the town bylaw. Inside, heritage designation protects the woodwork, ceilings, foyer paneling and staircase.

"Sidbrook is a rare surviving example of an early Victorian villa in Cobourg and also an example of the grand summer houses that once line Cobourg streets," the bylaw states as the reasons for designation and preservation of the building.

There are currently no plans for the building. Text updated September, 2013 - Photo taken 2007.

More on Americans in Cobourg. Sidbrook in better days.

poplarsThe Poplars

18 Spencer street East, 1827

Built by John Spencer, the first sheriff of Northumberland County - this is Cobourg's oldest surviving house. The house was later owned for over a century by the Daintry family. [More on George Daintry]. The bow windows on either side of the front door are rare in Canada - although they were not part of the 1827 construction. The location is at or very near the place where Eliud Nickerson built the first log cabin in the area.

breakersThe Breakers

94 Green street, ca 1850

A charming lakeside regency cottage built by James Calcutt Jr., retaining its original wrap-around verandah and spacious lawns. [Some would disagree with who built it - see James Calcutt Story].

This cottage is right on Cobourg's main beach facing south and is now part of the Breakers Motel.

crossen houseCedar Hedge

465 George street, 1871

The residence of James Crossen, proprietor of the Cobourg Car Works, manufacturer of Railway Cars. [Full story on James Crossen - More]. The house features substantial board and treillage on the porch and handsome ironwork above the bay windows.

The house is currently privately owned and occupied.

220 churchst 325220 Church street ~1820's

Photo from 1987 before the building was demolished to make way for the current Condominium building. At the time, it was reported to be the oldest home in Cobourg. In Cobourg 1798 – 1948 by Edwin C. Guillet, published in 1948, it was listed as one of the oldest houses in Cobourg, saying it was occupied in the 1820s.

Photo by Kieran McAuliffe who lived here in the mid 1900's.

tremain445 Monk Street ~ 1850's - at the end of Tremaine Street

Originally home to Winkworth Tremaine (a partner in the Woolen mill) it was home to several people including William Weller who used it as a Stage Coach stop. It was later turned into an orphanage. It is currently used as a Retreat centre by the Sisters of St. Joseph's. 

The house has a magnificent view out over the lake from a small hill. The photo shows the front of the house taken looking north.

188 king st188 King Street East - 1845

The house was built in 1845 and the east wing added in the 1850's. George S. Boulton was the first owner.

There were several other owners of the house before it was purchased by General Orlando Poe in 1894. After Mrs Poe's death her daughter owned the house until 1953.

Kieren McAuliffe lived here ~1960 and supplied the photo taken ~ 1985

George S. Boulton was a key person in the development of Cobourg - more.

Brigadier General Poe was William T. Sherman’s chief engineer in Sherman’s notorious march through Georgia in the American Civil War. Poe was also a cartographer for the army. After the war, Poe was Chief Engineer on the Great Lakes for the (U.S.) Army Corp of Engineers. He died as a result of a fall into a lock he was inspecting.

illaheeIllahee Lodge

Located on Lake Ontario at 110 Ontario street S., it was originally called Lakelands and was originally built in 1878. It was later the residence of William Riddell, who obtained the first B.Sc. at Victoria College, Cobourg, in 1877, and later became an eminent lawyer.

In 1906 Mr. Riddell became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario. Mr. Riddell's wife was Anna Crossen, the daughter of James Crossen, who was the proprietor of the Cobourg Car Works. The Sorias, who had long rented the home, bought it around 1899 and owned it until 1914 when Madame Margaret Soria sold it to Charles Kerr of Toronto, son of Senator William and Myra Field Kerr of Cobourg.

Kerr's wife, who was interested in Indian legends, named it Illahee - Indian for "house-by-water". Illahee Lodge later served as a holiday and rest centre for senior citizens for Toronto Family Services until it was sold in 2005. (Source: www.ourontario.ca).

The property is now the site of a new development of high-end townhomes and Condos. It is understood that the lodge will be preserved but made into a single family dwelling.