The Marketing of Cobourg as a Summer Destination - Shoenberger and Chambliss also launched a marketing campaign offering potential U.S. visitors to Cobourg a plethorea of pleasures in healthful surroundings.

Shoenberger and Chambliss also launched a marketing campaign offering potential U.S. visitors to Cobourg a plethorea of pleasures in healthful surroundings. Cobourg's myriad attributes, first heralded by Shoenberger and Chambliss, were echoed in the Souvenir of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada published some years later:

Cobourg is situated on a broad level valley, having Lake Ontario on its front, with green hills and fruitful orchards in the background. The summer climate of this region is unexcelled for its evenness of temperature and cool, bracing air, and is famous for the ozone, the quantity of sunshine, and freedom from fog, dampness or winds. The Lake affords good boating and bathing, and the surrounding country is unsurpassed for driving, riding and motoring. Maskinoge, bass and trout fishing can be had within easy driving distance. This is the best summer resort, and the healthiest and prettiest spot in Canada.

... Splendid parks, churches and schools. Good train service on the main line of the G.T.R., and a Daily Ferry, winter and summer, between Rochester, N.Y., and Cobourg, makes it very accessible to New York and Pittsburgh. About twelve miles north of Cobourg is the far-famed Rice Lake, the sportsman's paradise, considered the finest fishing ground in Ontario, containing all kinds of fish and lots of duck and wild fowl.

Cobourg's excellent ozone was also highlighted in hotel brochures. "There is an abnormal amount of ozone in the air second only to the Alps in Switzerland," proclaimed one Cedarmere hotel brochure.

Along with the print marketing campaign, Chambliss and a Cobourg physician embarked on an "Ozone Tour" to New York and other cities throughout the United States. At each stop, the two men touted the 'salubrious atmosphere' of Cobourg and informed audience members that Cobourg boasted the "second highest ozone content in the world." Although the Cobourg men's claims regarding the area's ozone levels do not appear to have been necessarily based upon scientific evidence, the public's interest in the health benefits derived from ozone made the claim an important selling point

harbourPhoto of Cobourg "Harbour Mouth" ~ 1870 - courtesy of Cobourg Public LibraryIn addition to Chambliss's "Ozone Tour" and other sundry promotional efforts, geography and transportation factors also contributed to the growing popularity of Cobourg as a summer resort during the 1870's and 1880's. Cobourg's relative close proximity to rapidly expanding urban centers in the United States such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Rochester combined with ready access from the U.S. by rail and/or water routes gave Cobourg strategic advantages over other potential resort competitors. The rail and water transportation infrastructure, originally built to convey coal, coke, lumber, and other goods between Canada and the United States were easily adapted to accommodate passenger traffic. The Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railway Company, the Ontario Car Ferry Company as well as other railway and ferry companies offered dual goods and passenger transport services between Cobourg and the United States.

Cobourg's emergence as a summer resort helped bring the town back to prosperity. During the mid-1870's, Cobourg's permanent population grew by a rate of approximately 500 individuals annually. Meanwhile, real estate prices in the town also rose substantially during the period. ".... [N]o good lots can now be had under $1,000 per acre," noted a May 2, 1874 Cobourg Sentinel article. Moreover, the influx of U.S. visitors, the Arlington Hotel began requiring summer reservations one year in advance while other hotels were built and/or renovated to meet the rising demand.


In Four Parts

[Also - Summary, point form version]

Based on a presentation by: Marsha Ann Tate, ABD
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania USA 16802
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As presented to Cobourg Historical Society