First Hand Accounts of Early Cobourg

    Mrs. White of White's Mills writes: " I was married to Mr. (Josiah) White in 1813 and came to Cobourg in 1813.  It was quite a wilderness, but a few small clearing, and only three houses in the place, a rough corduroy road led to the lake."

      From: Early Cobourg, by Percy Climo, published by Haynes Printing co. (Cobourg) Limited

    "Cobourg at that time was little else than a cedar swamp.  There were only a few houses at that time, and but little work to be had, no matter how willing one would have done it.  But plodded along, working his way as best he could, amid hardships and privations_ and often with a lonely homesick heart.  There was scarcely any money in circulation at that time, and the brass buttons then worn on the moleskin jackets and trousers would pass for money.  When he was fortunate enough to get work, the wage was decidedly small." (1832)

       A Reminiscence of the Early Days written by Mrs. David Fleming, Cobourg, in her 82 year (1921) published by Oshawa District Historical Society 1960  (Can be found at the Cobourg Archives, Cobourg Public Library)

    "Mr. Calcutt and family arrived here yesterday by the William the Fourth, and we are happy to congratulate the inhabitants of Cobourg and District generally, on its being the intention of this Gentleman... to remain with us. Etc."

"The Cobourg Star" , August 1,1832

    " To a visitor the general aspect of our village is one of great prosperity, which is so much the more remarkable, that even seven or eight years ago, amidst the wilderness, which it then was, there scarcely stood a log house to mark the future Town of Cobourg.  Our inhabitants have shared the general prosperity, while the name of poverty is scarcely known among us.  Stone and Brick buildings thrown over our streams, and the shops and stores display the common luxuries of life."

"The Cobourg  Star" , May 29, 1833

    Mrs. Wells further tells us: " ... the first school was held in an old stable, which had been fitted up for the purpose by nailing slabs over the cracks to keep out the rain.  It was taught by the daughter of a U.E. Loyalist, and stood where Waldie's bakery now stands (1874)."

Early Cobourg, by Percy Climo, published by Haynes Printing co. (Cobourg) Limited

    Mrs. Wells writes, " The first settlers in the vicinity of Cobourg were Mr. Samuel Ash and his brother_in_law Mr. Roger Wolcott, who left their homes in N.Y. Staten the Spring of 1797, crossed Lake Ontario in an open boat, and landed near Kingston.  The two young men bought a yoke of oxen between them, to draw rude sleds they had constructed.  Upon these they strapped their luggage.  They travelled through the woods till they came to the area where the Town of Cobourg now stands, which was a tackles wilderness."

"Cobourg Sentinel", March 21, 1874

  Transcribed and edited by Ian Duncan

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