History of Cobden Agricultural Society

The Cobden Agricultural Society is celebrating 162 years in 2019! Today our hall is open for all types of events from weddings to craft fairs.  The grounds are also home to the Cobden Farmers Market which runs from May to October, Taste of the Valley in October and the Cobden Fair in August.

Established in 1857, Agricultural Societies at that time, took the name of the township that they were located in. Prior to 1857 we had two fairs, one known as Ross Township Fair, held at Foresters Falls and the other known as Bromley Township Fair, holding their exhibition somewhere in the vicinity of Eganville. When these fairs united, becoming the Ross Bromley Society, their first president was Mr Ross Reilly.  The Fairs exhibits were displayed in a warehouse owned by Jason Gould, located where the Presbyterian Church stands today. The most popular event for fair goers was horse racing along the road we now know as Highway 417. There were no buildings available so cattle and horses were tied to trees and fences in the area.

The Ross Bromley society bought land from J Donald McDonald in 1886.

By degrees the pioneers built various buildings and over time horse stables, a cattle barn, sheep and swine sheds were built.  They also built a grandstand, ring and race track.

In 1920, two more acres were purchased from Mr A Collins, resulting in the race track being made larger and a new grandstand, with a dining hall underneath, was built. The main hall was enlarged and put on a foundation with a good floor. 

In 1929, a new roof was put onto the hall.

In 1947, the horse, sheep and swine barns were burned and in the following year a large horse shed was built.

In the fall of 1954, Hurricane Hazel passed through the district and blew down the new horse sheds and took the roof off the grandstand. In 1955 the horse barn was rebuilt.

In 1959, marking the centennial year, a new cement block building was built and is the oldest building on the grounds.

Since that time, there has been many changes and additions to the grounds. Over the years with the cooperation of other organizations in the community, the current building on the grounds took their shape.  In 1960, the curling rink was built and in 1963 the land for the village sports centre was proposed and the land for the outdoor rink and ball field was deeded to the village and the current Centennial building was changed to a rink.  

In 1973 the cattle barn was built and expanded again in the early 80s. 

A wash pad was added in 1983, a lean-to added to the cattle barn.

In 1975, the agricultural hall was rebuilt and in 1979 the hardwood floor was installed.  

In 1978 the plans for the new arena were approved.  

The curling rink was rebuilt in 1981.  

More land was purchased some time in the early 80s and the centennial hall building was purchased in 1981 from the town.

1930's Old Exhibit Hall, which stood in the Cobden Fair grounds where our Hall is now located.

1930's Old Exhibit Hall, which stood in the Cobden Fair grounds where our Hall is now located.