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I know, it’s the wrong name – it’s officially the Sifton-Cooke Heritage Centre. It’s been a long time coming but it was opened last year to much fanfare and last year had 1400 visitors. This year, from May 18 to August 30 2013, there were 2300 visitors.  The building is in good shape although not winterized and extensive archeological work was done to make sure there is no “buried treasure" underneath. The origins are still uncertain although the explanation I like best was described by Catherine Milne.  She says it was most likely a malting house used by James Calcutt for his brewery. In any event, it is now what I would call a small museum – and certainly the best in Cobourg.

The only competition it has in Cobourg is the one room Dressler House museum dedicated to Marie Dressler and the James Cockburn room in Victoria Hall. If anyone knows of any other, I’ll stand corrected.

Its success is due to a small band of volunteers headed by Joan Chalovich with strong support by Keith Oliver and Stanley Isherwood.

But it’s not just because it has been well promoted, it’s actually interesting. There is entertainment on some weekends and the outdoor model railway of the Cobourg Peterborough railway – complete with Rice lake Bridge scale model – is a huge attraction.

This year visitors have come from as far away as Japan, Switzerland and Texas.

This should now be considered one of Cobourg’s prime attractions – in the same boat as Victoria Hall, the beach, our architecture and key events like the Waterfront Festival.