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.

News

On May 25 Diane Chin will be telling the story of the founding of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) organization and its relationship to Barnum House in Grafton including the history of Barnum House itself.

Diane ChinDiane ChinWhile putting this presentation together she came across a mystery yet to be solved about the founding of the Cobourg Branch of ACO. Perhaps one of the attendees can shed light on what happened to one of Cobourg’s oldest buildings and more importantly to the person who organized this building’s move.

Our speaker will also touch on legislative aspects of Heritage Conservation and the many recent threats that are now upon us. And you thought COVID was our only problem!

Diane Chin moved to Cobourg in 2013. She grew up in the Beaches in Toronto so an eastward move to another lakeside community, populated by historic heritage homes was a natural fit. Diane is a former high school teacher, school librarian, principal and real estate agent. She also spent many summers working for the Ontario Government including one working as a Park Naturalist at Presqu’ile. Currently, Diane is also on the Executive of the Victoria Hall Volunteers and is our Program Director. She is also a member of the Cobourg Horticultural Society, the Canadian Federation of University Women and the Willow Beach Field Naturalists. Diane is currently the Vice-Chair of ACO Ontario.

All CDHS members are invited to join us electronically on Tuesday, May 25 at 07:30 PM. Please register in advance by visiting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_v4sES6soS9WvuVjHQET83g

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any questions concerning registration, please contact Brian Murphy, Membership Chair, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to you joining our upcoming CDHS webinar!

 

On March 23 Heather Viscount will explain how a Mechanics Institute, formed in the 1830s to provide educational opportunities for workmen and tradesmen through books and lectures, became the Cobourg Public Library. Heather is currently the Manager of Support Services for the Cobourg Public Library. Part of her her duties includes the upkeep and maintenance of the special collections of the Library, including local history and genealogical materials.

Heather ViscountHeather ViscountHeather was born and raised in Eddystone. After graduating from Lakehead University as a Library Technician, she began working part-time at her local Library in Centreton. In the years following she moved up from Assistant, then to Branch Manager, and then to CEO of the Alnwick/Haldimand Public Library. Heather was hired to work part-time at the Cobourg Library in October 1993 in the Reference Department. This is where her interest in Local History and Genealogy began. Her ancestors came to Haldimand Township in the early 1800s, mostly settling in the areas of Centreton, Eddystone and Vernonville. She has spent many lunch hours (and after hours) researching her family.

She continued working in both locations until she was hired full-time in Cobourg in 2004. Her interest in Local History and Genealogy continues today. The availability of online resources, and the Library’s subscription to Ancestry, have opened more doors, lead to more questions, and keep the search alive.

All CDHS members are invited to join us electronically on Tuesday, March 23 at 07:30 PM. Please register in advance by visiting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oh8CcY3iTwGZB13nGAH6KQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any questions concerning registration, please contact Brian Murphy, Membership Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to you joining our upcoming CDHS webinar!

 

A plaque erected in 1996 by the Township of Hamilton with the assistance of the Ontario Heritage Foundation and the Cobourg and District Historical Society reads:

MINA BENSON (1870 – 1956) AN EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY CANADIAN FEMALE EXPLORER OF LABRADOR AND WRITER, MINA BENSON WAS BORN ON THIS PROPERTY, LOT 28, CONCESSION 7, TOWNSHIP OF HAMILTON, COUNTY OF NORTHUMBERLAND. FROM JUNE 27 TO AUGUST 27, 1905, BENSON COMPLETED THE ILL-FATED 1903 LABRADOR EXPEDITION OF HER LATE HUSBAND, LEONIDAS HUBBARD JR., A DISTANCE OF 576 MILES FROM THE NORTHWEST RIVER TO UNGAVA BAY. HER MAPS, ACCEPTED BY THE AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, WERE SOME OF THE FIRST TO RECORD THE NASKAUPI RIVER AND GEORGE RIVER SYSTEMS. IN 1908 SHE PUBLISHED AN ACCOUNT OF HER TRIP, A WOMAN’S WAY THROUGH UNKNOWN LABRADOR. LATER SHE REMARRIED, HAD THREE CHILDREN AND MOVED TO ENGLAND, WHERE SHE DIED.

Our October meeting will be presented by Karin Wells, an internationally recognized CBC radio documentary maker with a long and varied career. Trained as a lawyer, Karin has produced documentaries on subjects as varied as post conflict resolution in Mozambique and victim rights to opera in the English countryside. She has reported from more than 50 countries and was regularly heard on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition as both a guest host and documentary maker. All members are invited to join us electronically on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 07:30 PM. Please register in advance by visiting

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sEKWWlzvQKaAqFutIsJhNw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about watching the webinar.  If you have any questions concerning registration, please contact Brian Murphy, Membership Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

On Tuesday, September 22, Randy Barber (who else?) will present the fascinating history of barbering and shaving which goes back at least 5000 years. Randy will sprinkle his talk with examples of Barberiana from his collection of almost 3000 items dating back to 400AD.

Randy resided in Markham with his wife Solveig for over 40 years. Between 1994- 2000 he served as Ward Councillor for the Town of Markham. He has held federal government appointments as an Administration Law Judge for the National Parole Board, CPP Disability and EI appeals. He now consults to the legal cannabis industry relative to compliance and regulation. Randy is a collector of rare books, antiques, military artifacts, Winston Churchill memorabilia, and hand carved decorative decoys. He speaks on Trench Art, Sir Winston Churchill and the History of Barbering at every opportunity.

All members are welcome to join us electronically on September 22, 2020 at 07:30 PM. Please register in advance for this webinar by visiting
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_d_Z-1kGEQpmYwul2L-y7jA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you are not a member of the Cobourg and District Historical Society but would like to attend our "meetings" please contact Brian Murphy, Membership Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.