Get ready for the Open House and Special Bazaar. Information here.
Come join us celebrating Christmas. Events detailed here.

Welcome to Cottonwood Mansion

Cottonwood is an Italianate-style red brick mansion built c. 1865-70 by William Holmes Jr., as a private residence. Descendants of the family say the name came from the cottonwood trees that originally surrounded the home on its 200 acre site. It was lived in until 1911 and then was derelict for almost eighty years until its restoration was undertaken by the late Larry Hamilton beginning in 1988.


Cottonwood is a 6,000 square foot mansion with fifteen rooms, some of which have the original furniture donated by Holmes' family members. Now a living museum, the mansion is open for tours, and available for rentals for a variety of events. A number of scheduled events take place annually, most with a Victorian flavour in keeping with the mission statement of the Cottonwood Mansion Preservation Foundation to sustain and maintain the Mansion and provide experiences of the Victorian Era.

Cottonwood's extensive genealogy research centre is now administered by the curator at Haldimand County Museum and Archives. It concentrates on the pioneer families of the Haldimand and Niagara areas.

Latest News

November 26 , 2015

Three Events Celebrating Christmas at Selkirk Heritage Site

Cottonwood Mansion Museum Decorated in Victorian Fashion for the Holidays.

Cottonwood Mansion Museum in Selkirk is offering three special Christmas events this year. Decorated in traditional Victorian style, the first event is an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, November 28th. Admission is free and a wide variety of special gifts and crafts for Christmas and other occasions will be on sale. Some collectors' dolls with their provenance will be available at very low cost. Self-guided tours of the Mansion are also available. A duo from the Cottonwood Brass Quintet will play in the afternoon.

A second open house with free admission is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, December 5th. In addition to items remaining from the previous week, this one will include a variety of baked goods for sale.

On Sunday, December 13th, beginning at 12:30 p.m., President Barbara Held is hosting a traditional Country Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. It will be catered by Julia's Bistro. Pianist Carol Fillmore, well known to many at Cottonwood and beyond and now residing in Port Dover, returns to the Mansion for dinner music and carol singing after the dinner. There are several surprises in store for guests. The dinner is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children twelve and under. Reservations are required on or before December 10th by calling 905-776-2538 or emailing

Visitors to Cottonwood for any of its Christmas events would also enjoy visiting nearby Selkirk for its outstanding Christmas decorations.

Pictured are Barbara Held, President of the Cottonwood Mansion Preservation Foundation; Father Christmas; and Administrative Assistant, Cindy Stewart-Held, in the Sitter Music Room, decorating for the holiday season.

September 19 , 2015

Doors Open Haldimand County

Visitors from as far away as India and the Philippines enjoyed Cottonwood Mansion Museum during Doors Open Haldimand County 2015 on Saturday, September 19th. Clayton Lord Spears and Catherine Lady Stidsen greeted visitors. In the Pettit Parlour, Jay and Richard Hoover told the story of...
Download the entire Doors Open 2015 After Report here.

Click any pciture below to enlarge.

Clayton Lord Spears and Catherine Lady Stidsen greeted visitors.

Barbara Held, President of Cottonwood Mansion and Helen Spears a dedicated volunteer offered refreshments in the Mansionís kitchen.

Four of Cottonwood Mansion's volunteers, all with ten years or more of service to the Foundation, celebrated their 80th birthdays in September of 2015. They were all volunteering at Doors Open Haldimand County on September 19th when President Barbara Held surprised them with a birthday cake. The "youngest" got to cut the cake and Richard and Jay Hoover, also volunteering along with several others, confirmed that "Eighty is the new Sixty", while helping to celebrate. Left to right are Joan McNeice, Catherine Stidsen, Marj Featherston, and Doris Held.

Sadee Kelly 6, Amelya Radzick, 10, Claryssa Radzick 12 The girlís, volunteers and all students at Rainham Central School, Fisherville, raised $40.00 selling lemonade and donated to Cottonwood Mansion during the Doorís Open event held on September 19, 2015.

Jay and Richard Hoover told the story of their members of the Hoover family and Jay offered suggestions on how to produce the kind of history of a family that he has.

September 9, 2015

Grimsby Historical Society Article on Cottonwood Mansion

The Grimsby Historical Society recently provided an article about Cottonwood Mansion. Click on the image to the right to read the article.

August 20, 2015

Ontario Farmer Interview

If you subscribe to or have access to "Ontario Farmer", don't miss the article on Cottonwood Mansion Museum by June Payne Flath. She was at the Mansion and interviewed Cindy Stewart-Held, Clayton Spears, and Catherine Stidsen to help with the article. We are grateful to her and her publisher for having made this possible.

Barbara Held

August 18, 2015

Volunteers needed for Doors Open Haldimand County

Volunteers needed for Doors Open Haldimand County at Cottonwood on September 19th. Please call 905 776 2538 or email on or before September 12th if you are able to help in any way.

Thank you for the strong turn out of volunteers. We have enough now.

August 9, 2015

Victorian Concert and Peach Social

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Pictured left to right are Mary Jean Follonsbee and Liz Morelli of Cheapside enjoying the Victorian Band Concert at Cottonwood Mansion.

Gena Kelly and her daughter Sadee getting punch cups ready for guests at the Victorian Brass Band Concert and Peach Social.

Pictured left to right are Greg Hilton, Cottonwood volunteer, Judy Mooney of Hamilton, winner of the in house draw at the Mansion's August 9th Peach Social, and Cindy Stewart-Held, Administrative Assistant at the Mansion.

Dr. Hank playing the music from the Philadelphia Firemen's Cotillion.

Sadee Kelly, Cottonwood's youngest volunteer; Cindy Stewart-Held, Administrative Assistant; Catherine Lady Stidsen, in her Edwardian Garden Party Look, getting Peach Punch ready for guests.

August 8, 2015

Gas Fest

On Saturday, August 8th, Cottonwood Mansion Museum will be open to the public from 2 pm to 4 pm only. Prior to that we will be participating in the Gas Fest Parade in Selkirk. Come join us for our very popular Victorian Band Concert and Peach Social beginning at 2 pm on Sunday, August 9th.

On Saturday don't miss... Sadee Kelly will have a Lemonade Stand set up on the lawn of Cottonwood Mansion , following the Gas Fest Parade and festivities in Selkirk, on August 8, 2015 from 2 - 4 pm, during open hours. $2.00 per cup, all proceeds go directly to benefit Cottonwood Mansion Museum. See you there!

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Catherine Berry Stidsen in her Scullery Maid Look and President Barbara Held of Cottonwood in her Parlour Maid Look at the Selkirk Gas Fest Parade.

Sadee Kelly had a Lemonade Stand set up on the lawn of Cottonwood Mansion following the Gas Fest Parade and festivities in Selkirk. The price was $2.00 per cup, all proceeds going directly to benefit Cottonwood Mansion Museum.

July 18, 2015

6th Annual Cottonwood Daylily Sale

Mary Ann and David Pearson's annual daylily sale for Cottonwood Mansion was once again an amazing success. This year they added a new hybrid, "Pockets Warhol", to the offerings. It is a second charity for this year's proceeds, connected with the "monkey who paints" who lives at the Story Book Farm north of Toronto. It is the same location were the Ikea monkey found a home.

One Toronto resident traveled to Cottonwood just to purchase the Pockets Warhol daylily. Many others had come to the sale in previous years, with the quality of the offerings bringing them back once again.

The Pearsons had 220 pots for sale in all including the three hybrids named for Cottonwood, Laurence G. Hamilton, and Miss Lillie (Lillian Holmes). They also had a collection of giant hosta selling for $5 a pot donated by friends who are renovating their garden and donated the mature plants to the Cottonwood Mansion Museum Sale.

The sale raised more than $710 for Cottonwood and $135 for the Sanctuary. Orders received by phone and email are still being picked up so the profits will increase accordingly. Persons still interested in purchasing lilies are invited to call the Pearsons at 905-772-5205.

Pictured at right is Mary Ann Pearson with some Pockets Warhol hybrids. Click the picture below to enlarge.


Melody Roberts and Ron Gernat of Toronto, visited Cottonwood Mansion for the first time during the Pearsonís Annual Day Lily Sale. Melodyís mother was Jocelyn Hoover of Selkirk, which makes her an 8th generation. Her father was James Roberts, whose mother was a Neff, and she recognized the tea set in the dining room, among other items donated by Florence Neff Young.

June 17, 2015

HN Caregivers Tea at Cottonwood Mansion

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Happy guests.

  Back row - Julie Coulson, Haldimand Regional Coordinator for the Adult Day Program, Senior Support Services; Gena Kelly (in period costume), Cottonwood Secretary/Treasurer and Volunteer.

Front row - Mary Lou Willis, Dorothy Elliott, Caregivers.

Helpful staff.

  Julie Marchese, board member; Barbara Held, President; Catherine Stidsen, media and public relations and volunteer; Gena Kelly, Secretary/Treasurer.  

  Mary Ann and David Pearson, Cottonwood members, volunteers, and members of the Cottonwood Brass Quartet.  

June 10, 2015

Selkirk Bakery Display

A display of artifacts from the Selkirk Bakery which was opened in the mid 1800s, opened at Cottonwood Mansion Museum on Wednesday, June 10th, courtesy of area resident William H. Lindsay. The exhibit is on display until Friday, September 18th, and will be followed by materials connected to croquet and other sports in the Victorian Era. See our events for more details.