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Monthly meetings are held in Cobourg's Victoria Hall.

Cobourg and District Historical Society Meetings are held every month except May, June, July, August and December.  Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday in the Month.  Meetings start at 7:30 pm but coffee and cookies are available starting at 7:00 pm.  Meetings are $5 for non-members and free for members of the society and students. 

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Dan BuchananWe are pleased to welcome author and speaker Dan Buchanan to our April 26 meeting.

Every community has its favourite prohibition characters and stories. It was a time we think of now as almost cartoonish in nature and we use it more as a punch line than anything else. In reality, it was all based on money and could often be very dangerous. Can you picture gun battles on Lake Ontario?

In Brighton, one of our prohibition characters was Ben Kerr, the notorious rum-runner who worked out of Presqu'ile Bay for a couple of years near the end of the 1920s. He was handsome and easy with money when he liked you. He had a fancy car and a honking speedboat. The mechanics at Wright's garage were particularly attentive when Kerr brought his car in for repairs.

How did Ben Kerr end up in the quiet little town of Brighton? It is the story of prohibition from start to finish, beginning in Hamilton and developing through the decade of smuggling and speakeasies. Of course, this all happened because politicians deemed it so. What on earth were they thinking? This presentation explores all of that and more. Strap in; it's a fun ride.

Join us in the Concert Hall of Victoria Hall on April 26, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and learn more about the life of Ben Kerr. All required public health measures must to adhered to. Admission is free for members and $5 for guests.


We are delighted to have Maureen Jennings at our March 22 meeting as our first in-person presenter in over two years. Maureen has written four series in the crime fiction genre for a total of seventeen novels.

Maureen Jennings storyThe first series is set in 1895 Victorian Toronto and features detective William Henry Murdoch. Her Murdoch Mysteries television series, broadcast by CBC, is currently in its fifteenth season. She has written for the show for the past eleven seasons and is the creative consultant.

The Detective Inspector Tom Tyler series is set in rural England, during WW2 and is currently optioned for TV. These books were the inspiration for Bomb Girls, a 2012 television series that is now available on the Amazon Prime streaming service.

Another book featuring detective William Murdoch, Let Darkness Bury the Dead is set during WW1 when Murdoch is older, and his son, Jack, returns from the war.

Her most recent book series starting with Heat Wave, features a female private investigator named Charlotte Frayne. The setting is Toronto, 1936. Maureen JenningsIn between writing these books she has created four plays and a short film called Viaticum. Three of her plays are in the mystery genre and all of which have been professionally staged.

Maureen Jennings was born in Birmingham, England and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. She has a BA in psychology and philosophy from the University of Windsor, and an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her husband Iden Ford, who is a professional photographer and their dog, a Labradoodle named Murdoch.

Join us in the Concert Hall of Victoria Hall on March 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and learn more about William Murdoch. All required public health measures must to adhered to. Admission is free for members and $5 for guests.


After the Rebellion in Upper Canada in 1837, unrest continued for some time in the "colonies." Cobourg had its own bit of excitement with what has become known as The Cobourg Conspiracy.

The Cobourg Museum Foundation, as part of its theme, "Heinous, Heroic, and High Flyers" has prepared a video of the historic Cobourg Conspiracy. At our meeting on February 22, 2022 via Zoom, we will see the
video and be introduced to the panel that was inspired by the story and did the research and production of
this video. We will learn about the creative elements that go into making such stories come to life.

history1history2The panelists are well known Cobourg residents many of whom have lived in this area for decades: Anne Burnham, Allan Seymour, Jenny Duda, Mark Edwardson, and Bill Hunt.

Join us on-line via Zoom, Tuesday evening, February 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m., and learn about the Cobourg Conspiracy. Please register in advance for this webinar:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Dr. Tim Cook, Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum, spoke about Canada's C Force at our December meeting. The almost 2,000 soldiers Tim CookTim Cookand two nurses who formed C-Force were sent to defend the British colony of Hong Kong, arriving in early November 1941, only a month before the Japanese attacked on 7/8 December 1941. On this 80th anniversary of the battle, Dr. Cook explained the costly fighting and the horrendous prisoner of war experience faced by the survivors. He finished by exploring the long campaign by veterans and their families to ensure the memory of the C-Force was not forgotten by Canadians.

Tim Cook is the Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum. He has curated over a dozen exhibitions and is the author or editor of 13 books. Some of his books include the two-volume Great War history: At the Sharp End (2007) and Shock Troops (2008); and his three-volume history of Canada and the Second World War: The Necessary War (2014), Fight to the Finish (2015), and The Fight for History (2020).

His many books are national best-sellers and have won prestigious prizes like the C.P. Stacey Award for best book in Canadian military history (twice), the J.W. Dafoe Award (twice), the Ottawa Book Award (three times), and the RBC Taylor Award. For his contributions to Canadian history, Dr. Cook is a recipient of the Governor General's History Award and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Order of Canada.