Page 12 THE COBOURG STAR, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 1974
The Cobourg Model School on University Avenue is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Spurred by a recent article in the Star J. Walling Reid, area superintendent for the Northumberland and Durham County Board of Education, has carried out some research into the history of the 100-year-old school house which was one of the first five public schools built in Cobourg.
“In a recent item in the Cobourg Star,” reports Mr. Reid, “I noted that the Nyberg Plumbing and Heating building at 128 University West was formerly the Cobourg Model school. Intrigued by this information I did some further reading of a report by Gordon W. C. Nelson, former Inspector of Public Schools in the Cobourg area. The report is entitled “The Story of Cobourg Common and Public Schools to 1907” and was published in June, 1968
The report quotes minutes which reveals that the Cobourg Board of Public Trustees purchased land for the construction of the school from the Reverend Isaac Brock Howard for the sum of $1,200. A tender to build the school for $4,300 was accepted by the board.
By the end of 1974 the new school was well on its way. This is indicated by the date 1874 which can be seen at the top centre of the building today.
At that time there were five public schools in Cobourg and the board decided to close numbers three and five because of the new school. The Headmaster, Mr. George Edgecomb, was hired at $500 per year and each of his three assistants at $300 per year. This was the first staff of what came to be known as the Model School on University Avenue.
The school was completed, according to Mr. Reid’s investigation , on August 17, 1875 and was occupied by students at the end of the month.
On June 29, 1877 the following entry was made in the board’s minutes: “Cobourg having been selected by the Department as the locale of the Model School it was moved by Mr. Featherstone and seconded by Mr. Reynolds that the same be established at once.”