The vibrancy of Colborne during the 1870s, the time of the publication of the Illustrated Historical Atlas, was evident from the information and images that town leaders provided to the publisher. Colborne boasted a number of civic and business accomplishments including a railway station, a shipping port, daily postal service, schools, several churches, flour mills, and tanneries.
The two featured homes - the L.C. Bailey residence at the corner of King and Victoria streets and the J.F. Peterson residence at the corner of King and Mill streets - in the 1878 Historical Atlas highlighted two fine Gothic Revival buildings in the village.
The depiction of the interior of R.E. Bywater's Jewellery store in the 1878 Historical Atlas speaks to Colborne's flourishing economy where townspeople could buy all manners of clocks, figurines, silverware, necklaces, and rings.