Special Notice

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.

Search this site

Meetings

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.

Northumberland Hall is one of the fine examples of homes of the Edwardian Period and is the namesake of the county. It was built in 1826 for one of Cobourg's early distinguished citizens, George Strange Boulton. Cobourg, at the time, ranked with Kingston and York (Toronto) as important towns in Upper Canada. A visitor to town in 1831 remarked upon Boulton's "elegant mansion built on rising ground below the village".

Northumberland HallGeorge Boulton's father, D'Arcy, an English lawyer, was appointed as judge in Upper Canada in 1803 and subsequently Solicitor General at York. George, born in 1797, became a lawyer at York, moved to Cobourg and was a Legislative Councillor in Upper Canada for 26 years. His brother, D'Arcy, built the Grange at York, later to become the beginnings of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

George's son, D'Arcy also a lawyer, built "the Lawn", the large house on the west side of D'Arcy Street, later to be known as the Dumble Estate. D'Arcy Boulton was President of the Cobourg Board of Police (the forerunner of a municipal council) in 1840-1842 and in 1846. He was Mayor of Cobourg from 1854 to 1851 as well as a Lieutenant Colonel in the militia. D'Arcy Street is named after him.

Mr. Daintry Fitzhugh's grandfather, Charles Fitzhugh, a U.S. General from Virginia, bought Northumberland Hall in 1899. General Fitzhugh added the eastern parts of the house which included the living room on the south side, den, tower and servants ' quarters. The Fitzhugh ownership of the Hall has remained until recently.

General Fitzhugh was instrumental in getting Cobourg started as a summer resort for wealthy Americans. He backed the Arlington Hotel in the 1870's and lived there during the Countess of Dufferin's visit. His son, Henry, was Vice President of the Grand Trunk Railway and the Rochester Ferry.

The Northumberland Hall property ran south to the lake including what is now Donegan Park. The stable is very old and the remnants of the original polo field are evident in the back.

Above was written in 1974 by the Cobourg Town Trust, a "voluntary organization dedicated to the harmonious development of Cobourg".

Northumberland HallAt right is a photo taken in 1894 - presumably from a different angle and after additions were made [Courtesy Cobourg images] - the caption for it reads:

Northumberland Hall was built by George Strange Boulton around 1824. It was bought in 1874 by William Rosamond who had recently purchased the Woolen Mills. The Rosamonds were well known wool manufacturers from Almonte. Rosamond married Margaret Boswell, the youngest daughter of Judge Boswell. At the turn of the century, the house was purchased by Henry Fitzhugh. The Fitzhughs made substantial alterations to the house. The family owned the house until 1974. Shortly after its sale, it was demolished.

Footnote

Anne Burnham offers the following correction:

D’Arcy Edward Boulton was the son of D’Arcy Boulton 1785-1846 and Sarah Robinson of Toronto. D’Arcy born 1785 was the brother of George Strange Boulton. [Above has... ] George as the father of D’Arcy Edward Boulton 1814-1902 who built the Lawn.

Thanks Anne