Welcome to Cottonwood Mansion
Cottonwood is an Italianate-style red brick mansion built c. 1860 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.
Ontario150 Community Capital Program Grant
Cottonwood Mansion Museum was the recipient of an Ontario150 Community Capital Program Grant administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation on behalf of the Ontario150 Secretariat. The grant was for existing properties to be repaired in a variety of ways that would make the facilities more available to the public. It seemed designed for a place like Cottonwood. The grant would make possible the repairs needed for the chimneys, the installation of a new roof, and the replacement of three pillars on the annex. Fortunately, the Mansion was chosen as a recipient. One quarter of the $66,000 estimate had to be provided by the Foundation. The actual cost came in at $6,000 less than anticipated. The trustees are happy to report that the work has been completed as the above photograph demonstrates.
Cottonwood Mansion is closed for regular season hours with the exception of special events and rentals. Please contact the Mansion at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-776-2538 with any rental inquiries.
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.
December 17, 2017
Christmas Dinner Recap
Cottonwood Mansion's Traditional Country Christmas Dinner was held on Sunday, December 17th at the Selkirk heritage site. The dinner was sold out and thoroughly enjoyed by many local people and those outside the county, several new to the Mansion and excited by what it has to offer. Live entertainment was by provided by members of the St. Stephen's Folk Choir and delighted guests joined in with the festive singing.
December 2, 2017
Open House and Bake Sale/Bazaar
Cottonwood Mansion Museum hosted its annual Christmas Bazaar at the Selkirk heritage site on Saturday, December 2. Visitors from as far away as Burlington and Winona visited the site, many for the first time. Baked goods, unique bazaar items for sale and free admission to the Mansion for the day were all highlights.
November 25, 2017
Christmas Decorating Day Recap
Thank you to all of the volunteers who donated items and who helped to decorate the Mansion for Christmas on decorating day!
November 12, 2017
Remembrance Day Lunch and Learn Recap
This year's Remembrance Day Lunch and Learn at Cottonwood Mansion Museum included a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation. Treasurer Craig Sitter brought his collection of heritage coins commemorating this anniversary. They were on display in the Sitter Music Room and he filled in interested visitors on their origin and historical backgrounds.
The main speaker at the lunch was Norma Mowat, a member of the Canadian Women's Army Corp during World War II. She brought her dress uniform with her with buttons polished and glowing. She also had her shoes and lyle stockings among other items of apparel. She delighted the audience with her recollections of her service. Norma is Cottonwood Mansion's first member among many other accomplishments especially in terms of the Women's Institute.
Robert Otterman and his wife Shirley were also present at the lunch and both are among the Charter Members of the Mansion. Bob spoke of his recent return to Holland with his daughter Emily at the request of the persons who were part of the Dutch who were liberated by his Galt Highlanders regiment. He was also in full dress uniform.
The warmth of the responses on the part of all present at the lunch was a special reminder that freedom comes at a cost not to be forgotten.
August 15, 2017
Mystery Bus Tour
Cottonwood Mansion hosted a Mystery Bus Tour from Essex, Ontario on August 15, 2017. Fifty four guests enjoyed a tour of the Mansion provided by Clayton Spears and lunch catered by Barbara Held. Special thanks to all of our volunteers for making this event a success!
August 13, 2017
Victorian Brass Concert and Peach Social Recap
Cottonwood Mansion hosted the 12th Annual Victorian Brass Concert and Peach Social on August 13, 2017. Guests enjoyed entertainment provided by the Cottonwood Brass Quintet along with special guest Dr. Henry Meredith. A peach dessert and punch followed the entertainment.
High Chair Donation
June 17, 2017
High Tea-Downton Abbey Style Recap
Cottonwood Mansion hosted a High Tea-Downton Abbey Style on June 17, 2017. Guests enjoyed the High Tea in the Victorian ambiance of the Mansion. Many of whom were in Victorian costume. Special thanks to organizer Lynda Davis and the staff of volunteers that made the event a success.
May 6, 2017
Cottonwood Mansion Dolly Tea Party Recap
Cottonwood Mansion hosted the annual Dolly Tea Party on May 6, 2017 to a sold out crowd. The guests enjoyed tea and light lunch, crafts, and activities. Special thanks to Deanna Schaus, Maureen Edge, and their staff of volunteers that continue to make this event such a great success.
March 12, 2017
St. Patrick's Day Country Dinner Recap
Cottonwood Mansion hosted our annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner on March 12, 2017. Guests enjoyed a meal catered by Rosie Balogh and entertainment provided by dancers from the McGinley Academy of Irish Dance in Georgetown.