The Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre is housed in one long stone building, commonly called “the barracks” and an 1870s workman’s cottage. The volunteers that help keep the place running will tell you that they don’t have a lot of space and they like it that way because everywhere you look is part of the story.
The land on which the museum stands was once owned by James Calcutt, an Irishman who immigrated to Canada in 1832 and built a brewery to successfully meet the needs of thirsty Cobourgers. Whether he built “the barracks” or just took it over from the local military remains a mystery.
In 1999 a local group, including Doug Sifton and David Cook, formed the Cobourg Museum Foundation to rescue the building before it completely collapsed and was demolished.
The Centre opened to the public in 2012 and each year since a different part of the area’s history has been told. When you stop in be sure to bring the kids for a chance to see the 1/20 scale model of the historic Cobourg and Peterborough Railway and its famous Rice Lake Bridge.