Village of Cobden
As Pembroke and Ottawa flourished, the need to travel between the two communities increased. Due to the rapids on the Ottawa River above Portage du Fort, the steamer from Ottawa could not travel the whole distance by river. A land route was required and as a result, around 1849 Jason Gould established a winter road between Portage du Fort and the head of the Muskrat Lake at the location now known as the Village of Cobden. A steamer was used to travel the Muskrat Lake and then one continued the journey by road to Pembroke. In 1850 Mr. Gould received permission to open a post office and due to his valuable transportation business, he received the privilege of naming the settlement on the Muskrat Lake. He named it Cobden after Richard Cobden, a British descendent and member of parliament.

With the expansion of the railway line through Cobden in 1876, the village grew and prospered offering a bank, hotels, flour mill, churches and various other stores. In October 1900 Cobden was granted permission to become an incorporated village and allowed to separate from the Township of Ross.

Today, Cobden’s location on the busy Trans-Canada Highway, known as Highway 17, makes it a convenient stopping place for the many travellers passing through the area. One of the many highlights of Cobden is its annual fair which was established in 1854 and is held in late August each year.


The Cobden Fair offers several days of activities that include exhibits, cattle and horse shows, midway rides and a demolition derby.
From May until October, the Farmer’s Market is located at the Cobden fairgrounds offering fresh local grown produce, homemade baking and a wide assortment of crafts.


Last but not least, one can’t forget to try and catch a glimpse of Mussie, the legendary monster that inhabits Muskrat Lake.




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