740, Regional Road 53, Haldimand, County of, Ontario, N0A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built circa 1860 for William Holmes, Cottonwood Mansion is a two-storey brick Italiante style residence located at 740 Regional Road 53, in the former Town/Village of Selkirk. A bell-cast roof over the portico and veranda, rounded casement windows with shutters on both floors, buff brick quoining, elaborate double eave brackets and a belvedere contribute to its architectural significance. Cottonwood Mansion is recognised for its heritage value by Haldimand County by-law 732/89.
Cottonwood Mansion is one of the few remaining rural mansions in Haldimand County, and is associated with the Hoovers, one of the first families to settle in Haldimand. Situated on the farm originally established by Jakob Huber (Hoover) in the 1790s, it was built in circa 1860 by William Holmes, Jakob Huber's son-in-law. Huber's descendents lived in the mansion until selling it in 1911.
For most of the twentieth century, the main quarters of the house were vacant and only the servants' wing was used. The property was purchased in 1988 by a Hoover descendent who restored the mansion to its original character. It now operates as a hands-on museum and offers a genealogical library on the Hoover family and other early settlers in Haldimand County.
Cottonwood Mansion is of the Italianate style and built of variegated brick made of clay and beach sand from Lake Erie, both locally available materials. The wood came from a local mill. A bell-cast roof over the portico and veranda, rounded casement windows with shutters on both floors, buff brick quoining, elaborate double eave brackets and a belvedere contribute to its architectural significance. Other distinctive external features include yellow brick accents and a wraparound veranda. It stands two stories tall with a third-floor belvedere which provides an excellent view of Lake Erie. The windows are an exceptional Florentine style, unique to the area's architecture. The house contains fifteen rooms, including five bedrooms and a music room. The interior, which is also designated, includes imported marble fireplaces in the dining room and parlour, decorative plaster cornice work and ceiling medallions. There is a central curving staircase, ornately decorated with an oak leaf design. Other interior flourishes include the original richly designed interior doors. The windows are paired and semi-circular with 2-by-2 glazing. An attached brick woodshed, with dirt floor, once served as a summer kitchen and contains its own fireplace.
Source: Haldimand County By-law 732/89.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of Cottonwood Mansion include its:
- construction with locally available materials
- variegated brick and buff brick quoining
- semi-circular, shuttered, 2-by-2 paired windows
- wrap-around veranda with bell-cast roof, supported by decorative columns
- front door with sidelights and flat transom
- interior ceiling medallions and cornice details
- marble fireplaces and twinned brick chimneys
- central curving, decorative staircase on the interior
- original interior doors
- belvedere or widow's walk with surrounding rail
- double eave brackets
- size and massing reflecting its status as a mansion
- proximity to Lake Erie
- attached brick woodshed with fireplace inside, originally the summer kitchen
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Haldimand County Archives;
Cottonwood Mansion Archives and Papers
Cross-Reference to Collection