Two events determined the formation of the Northumberland County as we know it. One was the ice age. The rolling hills, that magnificent ridge of terrain between Lake Ontario and Rice Lake are a gift from the glaciers. They are part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, which stretches in the west to Orangeville and to Trenton in the east. The other event was the sinking of the sailing ship Speedy. Had the ship not floundered, today’s Presqu’ile Provincial Park might well have become a city called Newcastle. But the ship sank, the authorities reconsidered their choice of town-site, and Cobourg came into being as the county seat.
Northumberland has existed as a municipality since 1829. There have been adjustments over the years, with townships added and subtracted.
Written as a millennium project for 2000, the history of the County is an easy-to-read-book – with excellent pictorial features recalling fond memories for many. The book provides residents and former residents with a permanent reminder of their ancestral past and the hardships endured to make Northumberland the number one county in which to live.