A Cobourg man has upwards of 100 plates and rare items from Cobourg dating back to the early 1900’s that are up for sale.
Jack Welton recently accumulated the items that are of significant interest to the history of Cobourg.
The hope is the items can stay in the community as they are very much part of the town’s history.
“They range from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s and are basically souvenirs from people who came to town and bought them from one of the stores.”
“Some of them are common, but most of them are very rare.”
Some of the plates are from The Cedarmere Hotel which was demolished in 1933 and The Dunham Hotel which was at the corner of Division Street and Swayne Street.
Welton who himself started collecting in the 1970’s and hasn’t stopped said although he’s slowed down, it’s a hobby that stays with you.
“It’s just interesting going to auctions and antique shops.”
But with the advent of the Internet it takes most of the fun out of it.
“For me it makes it harder.”
“I don’t like looking stuff up online and it makes it more available to everybody and anybody in Ontario and the world.”
“It isn’t that interesting anymore,” stating the “hunt” was part of the enjoyment.
Welton also has a number of extremely rare items from the estate of the Ontario Car Ferry Company which travelled from Cobourg to Rochester.
Cobourg History states, Ontario No. 1 was lauched in 1907 and had a capacity of approximately 30 railway cars and a top speed of 15 mph with a route of 55 nautical miles costing in the day of approximately $370,000.
The ship sailed from the Genesee Dock for the first time November 19, 1907 to Cobourg with 28 cars of bituminous coal for Grand Trunk locomotives.
Cobourg History states that traffic increased so much there was a need for a second ferry and in 1914 the company ordered Ontario No. 2 at a cost of $458,000.
It was similar to Ontario No. 1 in that it was designed to carry 1,000 passengers. Ontario Nl. 2 was put into service in 1915.
Ontario No. 1 stopped making the excursions in 1949 and Ontario No. 2 stopped in 1950.
Though many years have passed both ships still have much history on both sides of the border.
“The china used on the ships are very rare,” said Welton.
An extremely rare item is a stamp stating “S.S. Ontario No. 2.”
The plates of Cobourg are available for sale as an entire collection and Welton said at this point he’s undecided about the items from the Ontario Car Ferry Company.
More information about the Ontario Car Ferry Company is available here: