It won't be long until the 7th Annual Cottonwood Daylily Sale.

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.

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 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

May 22, 2016

High Tea-Downton Abbey Style Recap

Guests at Cottonwood Mansion Museum on Sunday, May 22nd, thoroughly enjoyed a high tea catered by President Barbara Held. Among the guests and volunteers were John and April Skerrett of Simcoe, in full Victorian regalia.

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A display of a collection of Victorian buttons owned by Mary Ann Pearson of Cayuga was also on display and will be at the Mansion throughout the summer season. Guests expressed total delight in the afternoon's festivities.

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The display of the high tea served to our guests.

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Claryssa and Amelya, granddaughters of members Bruce and Lois Gifford sang a tune to entertain our guests.

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May 7, 2016

Cottonwood Mansion Dolly Tea Party Recap

On May 7 the 5th annual Dolly Tea Party was held at the Mansion. The event was organized and presented by Deanna Schaus, Maureen Edge and their staff of volunteers. It is one of the Mansion's most popular events and has already been pre-booked and sold out for 2017. Guests enjoyed an afternoon of lunch, tea, punch, cookies, handmade desserts, crafts, and games. There were plenty of door prizes and each girl received a gift bag for attending. This year a special donation of a hand-made doll was donated for a prize by Marla Eve who is a master doll maker. She has won international competitions and earned a perfect score in the last international competition.

"Kayla" the beautiful doll donated by Marla Eve for the Dolly Tea Party.

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From the left; Roshika Dias with her daughter, Shekinah Williams, 5, of Caledonia, along with Christine Ralston of Selkirk, enjoyed an afternoon of fun at Cottonwood Mansion's 5th annual Dolly Tea Party on May 7, 2016.

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From the left; Stuart and Bridget Brown of Port Dover, were joined by Ann Brown from Toronto, and Rebecca Shapiro of St. Catherines at the 5th annual Dolly Tea Party held at Cottonwood Mansion on Saturday, May7, 2016.

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Mom, Kelly Cooper, with Jade and Kennedy Cooper, and their baby dolls, all of Stoney Creek, were joined by grandmother Joyce Ward of York at Cottonwood's 5th annual Dolly Tea Party on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

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March 13, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Country Dinner Recap

Cottonwood Mansion hosted a Traditional Country Dinner in honor of St. Patrick's Day on Sunday, March 13. Barbara Held, President, along with volunteers served baked ham, colcannon, barmbrack and all the trimmings which included delicious desserts, tea, coffee and punch.

Attending the dinner from the left are; Linda and Harold Robertson of Selkirk, Lois and Bruce Gifford of Fisherville, and Ron and Anne Pavlovich also of Selkirk.

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Wendy and Peter Banting attended the St. Patrick's celebration.

Peter also provided entertainment to the crowd after dinner with his Alto Sax, he is a member of the Peter Banting Swingtets of Hamilton.

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Barbara Held, President enjoying the event and serving.

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Irish Barmbrack

Prep: 15m
Cook: 1hr
Ready in: 5h 15m


2 1/2 cups dried mixed fruit (Compliments Five Fruit Medley)
1 1/2 cups hot brewed tea
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon marmalade
1 teaspoon grated orange zest


  1. Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea for 2 hours, then drain and gently squeeze out excess tea.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan. Stir together the flour cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. Beat the egg, sugar, marmalade, orange zest, and tea-soaked fruit until well combined. Gently fold in the flour until just combined, then pour into the prepared Bundt pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 hours before removing. Continue to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Press the objects of choice into the cake through the bottom before serving.

Carrot salad

8 cups cooked carrots (sliced)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard or regular
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 onions (chopped)
1 can tomato soup (don't add anything)
3 tbsp vinegar
3/4 cup white sugar
pepper to taste
1/2 cup salad oil
1 green pepper (chopped)
chopped celery

Mix all together, marinate at least 24 hours. Will keep in fridge for weeks.

Can be served hot or cold.

February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Country Dinner Recap

Pictured left to right are: Bob Otterman and Shirley Otterman of Fisherville, Jack and Darlene Binns of Hamilton, and standing is Barbara Held, President of the Cottonwood Mansion Preservation Foundation at the Mansion's Annual Valentine's Day Country Dinner held on Sunday, February 14th, at the Selkirk heritage site.

Guests enjoyed a social hour followed by dinner. A self-guided tour of the Mansion was also included in the event. Cayuga resident Deb Matthews added to the enjoyment with "unmentionables", jewelry, an autograph book, and a quilt belonging to her Great Grandmother and dated to 1872, when the Mansion would have been in its heyday in terms of Victorian parties and enjoyment.

December 17, 2015

Even More Christmas Events Recap

Former guests at the dinner and several new to the event expressed their pleasure with the event and the ambiance. The unique Christmas gifts available for purchase were also much appreciated.

The Mansion continues to be open to the public on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until it closes for January, February and March apart from rentals and special events.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pictured is Carol Fillmore of Port Dover who returned to Cottonwood after an absence of a few years to provide dinner music and a Christmas Carol Sing-along at the heritage site's third major event of the Holiday Season on Sunday, December 13th.

The winner of our Christmas Bucket draw was Marjorie Hartwick (left) shown with President Barbara Held (right).

Volunteer, Jim Armstrong, staff member, Cindy Stewart-Held and our President Barbara Held serving dessert in the kitchen.

December 11, 2015

Christmas Events Recap So Far

The November 28th and December 5th Open Houses at Cottonwood Mansion Museum were a banner day for the Foundation! The unique items for sale on both days brought oohs and aahs as did the Christmas decor. Lunch and baked goods for sale at the December 5th event were so popular that both Christmas open houses in 2016 will feature them.

The December 5th event was a special hallmark for the Mansion when descendants of both the original Hubers who settled Selkirk and beyond in 1790 and descendants of the Holmes Family came to visit. One member of the first group wept for joy at seeing the trunk in the Ballroom that belonged to the original settlers. She had only seen it in photographs until this visit.

Six-year-old Sadee Kelly in Victorian hoop skirt and period cape, muff, and bonnet was a special added attraction on the 5th. She is currently Cottonwood's youngest volunteer and brightens every event in which she participates with her smile and enthusiasm.

After a traditional Country Christmas Dinner on Sunday, December 13th, the Mansion will close for the winter apart from rentals and three special events. For information on these see the Coming Events on the website. The Mansion reopens to the public on April 2, 2016. During the interim all emails and phone messages will be checked regularly and will be answered as soon as possible.

(l-r) Richard Morris, and Sue Morris, of Kelowna, BC., Mary Weiler, of Burgessville, ON., and Sandra Buck, of Woodstock,ON., Visitors to Cottonwood Mansion on Saturday, December 5th, included Sue and Richard Morris of Kelowna, BC., who happened to be in Ontario sharing Holiday time with family and friends. Sue Morris is the Great Granddaughter of William Holmes.

Six-year-old Sadee Kelly in Victorian hoop skirt and period cape, muff, and bonnet was a special added attraction on the 5th.

Barbara Held, President of Cottonwood Mansion with the delicious variety of baked goods for sale on December 5th.

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