MARIE DRESSLER MUSEUM:
OUR HISTORY


  Marie Dressler House    Photograph  2016  Marie Dressler Foundation Collection

Marie Dressler House 

Photograph

2016

Marie Dressler Foundation Collection

 

The Marie Dressler Museum (MDM) is located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, inside the charming heritage house in which Marie Dressler was born in1868.

The house itself was built in 1833, and was of simple design: two rooms off each side of a central hallway. Yet it contained embellishments suited to a family of means: high ceilings, large windows, impressive mouldings and an elaborate front door. Marie's family, the Koerbers, rented the house from the owner, John Field, for $8 / month. 

Marie left her Cobourg home at the age of 14 to pursue her dream of becoming a stage performer, and her family eventually moved to the United States shortly after. By the time of Marie's death in 1934, the Field family had taken up residence in the house.

In the years to come, Dressler house remained an integral part of the Cobourg community. By 1937, the Field family had transformed their home into a restaurant in response to Marie's many loyal fans who begged the chance to see the house. The restaurant flourished and drew tourists to Cobourg for years, until a severely damaging fire broke out in the restaurant kitchen in 1989.

To cover the house's restoration costs after the fire, a huge fundraising campaign was led by District Chamber of Commerce Director Bill Patchett with major support from the Marie Dressler Foundation Board. The fundraising campaign was a huge success and the house was restored, becoming the Chamber of Commerce Office in the early 1990's. 

As of 2016, the Dressler house is now home to the Marie Dressler Museum. The MDM has reimagined the house's previously existing Marie Dressler memorabilia display and has installed a brand new permanent museum exhibit: From Cobourg To Hollywood: the Story of Marie DresslerThe permanent exhibit occupies one half of the house, while the town of Cobourg Visitor Information Office occupies the remaining half.

 

 
  Exterior of Marie Dressler House Restaurant   Postcard  c. 1970's  Marie Dressler Foundation collection

Exterior of Marie Dressler House Restaurant

Postcard

c. 1970's

Marie Dressler Foundation collection

 
  Inside the Marie Dressler House Restaurant (former living room of the original residence)   Photograph  Date Unknown  Marie Dressler Foundation Collection

Inside the Marie Dressler House Restaurant (former living room of the original residence)

Photograph

Date Unknown

Marie Dressler Foundation Collection

 
  Extinguishing the fire at Marie Dressler House   Photograph  1989  Marie Dressler Foundation Collection

Extinguishing the fire at Marie Dressler House

Photograph

1989

Marie Dressler Foundation Collection


© Marie Dressler Museum 2016