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.

Coming Up

May 6, 2017

Cottonwood Mansion Dolly Tea Party-Grandmother/Mother/Daughter/Dolly

Our annual Dolly Tea Party on Saturday May 6th is another sell out with 100 mothers and daughters attending. It is such a success that it was sold out on the day of the 2016 tea party. The girls and their mothers/grandmothers enjoy a luncheon tea, crafts and activities. The day also includes special food and craft for the dolls. This year's theme involves magical unicorns and rainbows. The girls, ages 2 to 15, all have a wonderful day. Isn't it wonderful that their mothers get to come with them!

May 11, 2017

Regular Season Opening Date

Due to anticipated construction the Mansion will open for the regular season on May 11, 2017 at 11:00 am. Any special events or rental bookings before this date will still be taking place as scheduled.

Available Now

covers the Hoover connection to Cottonwood Mansion
and Selkirk Community and follows the Family of
Jacob Reginald Hoover (1912 to 2003) to the present.

The book sells for $40.00 + shipping and
$10.00 per book sold will be donated to the
Cottonwood Mansion Preservation Foundation.

Limited Quantities Available

Please contact Cottonwood Mansion at 907-776-2538
or email cottonwoodmansion@gmail.com if you
are interested in purchasing a book.

Home at Home: Selkirk and Haldimand County

Feature article on Selkirk and Haldimand County in a national Canadian magazine. 400,000 copies across Canada. Download the PDF.

Reprinted with permission from Home Hardware's Home at Home magazine.

Latest News

December 18, 2016

Christmas Dinner Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted a Christmas Dinner on December 18, 2016. Guests were served a delicious hot meal catered by Rosie Balogh with help from Barbara Held, President and many other volunteers.

Richard Hoover, Vice President (shown here) along with his wife Anne volunteered and also enjoyed the Christmas dinner.

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Milfred and Marjorie Hartwick guests at the dinner.

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Bruce and Lois Gifford along with their family and friends at the dinner.

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Craig Sitter, Karen Zandersons, and their guests at the dinner.

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December 3 & 10, 2016

Open House & Bake Sale/Bazaar Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted an Open House & Bake Sale Bazaar on December 3 & 10, 2016. Guests were treated to a wide array of bake sale items and many unique treasures from the bazaar. Entertainment was provided from a duo from the Cottonwood Brass Quintet, Dave and Mary Ann Pearson. Xander Geister was also on hand signing copies of the Haldimand Heritage Sites 2017 calendar which he produced.

Volunteer Lynda Davis helping at the Christmas Open House.

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Dave and Mary Ann Pearson a duo from the Cottonwood Brass Quintet entertained the guests at the Christmas Open House.

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Xander Geister who produced the Haldimand Heritage Sites 2017 calendar signing purchased copies for guests at the Christmas Open House.

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November 26 & 27, 2016

Christmas Decorating Day Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted a Christmas Decorating Day on November 26 & 27, 2016. The Mansion was decorated in Victorian theme for the Christmas holidays. We had many volunteers come out and participate in the event and enjoyed a wonderful lunch provided by Barbara Held, President. Thank you to all who made the day a great success.

Rosemary Hilton and Walter Plaenksken helping with the decorating at the Mansion.

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Lynn Otterman decorating the tree in the Sitter Music Room.

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Lynda Davis and our youngest helper of the day decorating the tabletop tree in the Smith Parlour.

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October 15, 2016

Victorian Children's Event Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted a Victorian Children's Event on October 15,2016 with period playtime and education that included vintage themed toys, games, lunch, entertainment, and a tour of the Mansion. Special thanks to Karen Richardson of Haldimand County Museum and Archives for the use of their vintage toys and games and to all the volunteers and guests who attended the event.

Jack enjoyed an afternoon of vintage playtime with special thanks to John and Lorna Walker of The Neat Little Book Shop in Cayuga for loan of the "Pirate" board for souvenir photos.

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Maddie in vintage play at Cottonwood Mansion's Victorian Children's Event.

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Dave and Mary Ann Pearson entertained at Cottonwood Mansion during the Children's Victorian Event.

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Volunteers Jackie and Grace helped show the children how to have fun with no batteries required. (Toys and games provided by Haldimand County Museum and Archives, Cayuga)

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August 21, 2016

The Peter Banting Swingtet Concert-Beef On A Bun And Corn Roast Recap

The Hamilton based "Peter Banting Swingtet" made its first appearance at Cottonwood Mansion on Sunday, August 21st at the Mansion's Beef on a Bun and Corn Roast event. The gazebo at Cottonwood was used as a dance floor. Chairs were set close to it and also under the shade of some of the magnificent trees on the property. A breeze from the lake made for a perfect day.

Members of the audience who didn't dance could be heard singing along with the favorites like "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame" among others. The band has been in the Selkirk area before but this was its first time at Cottonwood. They are known in many areas for the help they provide for not for profit organizations and charities.

Peter Banting provided a variety of classic jokes between the sets. The supper after the concert offered Snyder's corn, beef on a bun with a variety of condiments, three salads and strawberry pie for dessert. It was catered by Barbara Held, President and assisted by other Mansion volunteers. Guests were invited to eat indoors or outdoors.

Many in attendance were first time visitors to the Mansion and took advantage of the self-guided tour which was included in the price for admission. Many expressed their intention to return for other events.

The Peter Banting SWINGTET: left to right, Back row: John Steven on guitar; James Locke, drums; Urmas Soomet, bass.

Front row: Rudy Wasylenky, tenor saxophone; Peter Banting, alto saxophone; Ruth St. Amand, trumpet; and Keith Kindree, trombone.

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President of Cottonwood Barbara Held and Gelindo Sanmartin of Hamilton help get the dancing going in the Mansion's gazebo, perfect for that kind of amusement.

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Volunteer David Pearson "roasting" the corn for Cottonwood's Swingtet Concert and Beef on a Bun. Former President Clayton Spears helped with the shucking of the 84 ears of Snyder's corn earlier in the day.

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Volunteers for Cottonwood Mansion's Beef on a Bun, Sunday, August 21st. Maureen Edge, Cindy Stewart-Held, Administrative Assistant at Cottonwood, Greg Hilton, and Barbara Held, President of the Preservation Foundation.

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August 7, 2016

Victorian Concert and Peach Social Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted the 11th Annual Victorian Concert and Peach Social on Sunday, August 7th.

Guests were entertained by the Cottonwood Brass Quintet with special guest Dr. Henry Meredith. Volunteers served an ice cream and peach dessert with peach punch.

The Cottonwood Brass tuning up for the concert.

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Volunteers preparing the peach dessert. Pictured from left to right: Greg Hilton, Barbara Held, President Cottonwood Mansion and Deanna Schaus.

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Pictured from left to right: Peter Banting, Adam Mahonske, a concert pianist teaching now in Baltimore, whose mother is from the Simcoe area and was a friend of Peter's mother, Hula, their golden retriever, now retired from providing litters for service dogs, and Wendy Banting.

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June 19, 2016

Strawberry Social Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted their annual Strawberry Social on Sunday, June 19.

Guests enjoyed listening to the Haldimand-Norfolk Concert Band, sponsored by Bob and Shirley Otterman. Volunteers served an ice cream and strawberry dessert with punch.

Pictured from the left: Wilma and Jim Louks of South Cayuga and Don Booker of Dunnville who won the door prize, a print of Cottonwood Mansion by Emily Otterman.

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Pictured from the left: Joan Harper of Selkirk, her Mom Marjorie Hartwick of Fisherville and her daughter Isabella Harper, also of Selkirk, enjoyed an ice cream and strawberry dessert on the grounds of Cottonwood Mansion after listening to the Haldimand-Norfolk Concert Band at the annual Strawberry Social held Sunday, June 19.

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Haldimand-Norfolk Concert Band entertained guests during Cottonwood Mansion's annual Strawberry Social held on Sunday, June 19.

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