Box 56, 740 Haldimand Road 53
Selkirk, ON N0A 1P0
Telephone (905) 776-2538
November 2010 Winter Hours
Published Quarterly Open for Events and by Appointment.
To maintain, promote and preserve the historical building known as Cottonwood Mansion
as a Living Museum that encourages the Public to experience the heritage of the Victorian era.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERSHIPS 2011
President Barbara Held Look for the 2011 Membership Renewal
Vice President Catherine Berry Stidsen form included in this mailing.
Treasurer Deanna Schaus
Secretary David Pearson We have enclosed the Renewal Form and an
Trustee-at-large Sheila Moffat-Koczka envelope for your convenience. In order to
defray costs, we are asking you to provide the
stamp! You might also like to think about
COMMITTEES giving someone a membership to Cottonwood
Bookkeeper Janet Rutka as a gift, so we're including more than one
Genealogy Karen Richardson form for your use. If you are a Life Member,
Gift Shop Maureen Edge please consider making a donation to
Grounds and Maintenance David Pearson Cottonwood. Thank you!
Group Tour Co-ordinator Dorothy Hare
Historical Dorothy Hare
Housekeeping Barb Held
Landscaping and Gardens Mary Ann Pearson
Marketing Catherine Berry Stidsen
Newsletter Editor David Pearson
Special Events Barb Held
FROM THE EDITOR
Thank you to Catherine Stidsen for providing copy
and photographs. Any news items, suggestions for
future articles, or other submissions to be considered
for the newsletter should be sent to me at
email@example.com or by phone at 905-772-5205.
-Dave Pearson Dorothy Hare and grand-daughters
dressed in period costume to greet visitors
several of the people we have employed to do the
Cooper Funeral Home work we needed doing. The Mansion is looking
Martyn & Ian Cooper better and better and visitors who have not been
there for some time are very much impressed
with what we’ve accomplished in general, and
19 Talbot St. W., Jarvis, ON N0A 1J0 this past year in particular. We’re still awaiting
Tel: 519-587-4414 Fax: 519-587-2849 word on the needs of the roof and will advise
you of that as soon as we receive the details.
“Serving you as you would be served” When you renew your membership if you are
able to extend your generosity to assist us in the
costs of this work, we will be especially grateful.
IN MEMORIAM And if not, we’re happy with your ongoing
membership as well.
By way of a special thank you we will hold
an open house on Sunday, December 5 th , from 1-
4 p.m. Admission is free but donations will be
welcomed, of course. Seasonal refreshments will
be served. We invite you to see the decorations
which this year are being put in place by Sheila
Moffat-Koczka, one of our two new trustees,
with the assistance of her staff. Many pieces of
our Christmas collection which have not been on
display for the last few years will be out. Major
Long-time Member and volunteer Bruce Riley new ones are being added. And we have three
passed away on September 27, 2010 in his 85th year. collections being loaned for the display, viz.,
We extend our sincere sympathy to Treva and the “Christmas Around the World”, from Darlene
Riley family. Brenzil Smith; Snowmen and Angels from Greg
Hilton; and my personal Father Christmas
Member Laura Grinyer passed away on September collection.
2, 2010 in her 94th year. We extend our sincere Please come and join us for this and for our
sympathy to the Grinyer family. other Christmas Events listed in the newsletter.
Our January “Comfort Food across Cultures”,
will also be special. I hope to see many of you
Let us remind you that we keep a book of over the holidays and to all of you I wish you a
Memorials and Special Occasions for donations truly Merry Christmas and a very Happy New
to Cottonwood made on behalf of loved ones. Year.
If you are able, please remember Cottonwood
Mansion in your will.
As you have read in our February, May, and
August newsletters, and as you will read in this
one, the challenges to the Cottonwood Board this
year have been exceptional. But I can honestly
say that we have done very well. Among the Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will
reasons for this are contributions on the part of love you back ~ Arthur Rubinstein
DESCENDANTS of WILLIAM ILDERTON TOURS AT
HOLMES and MARY HOOVER COTTONWOOD
VISIT COTTONWOOD Forty-eight visitors, their driver, and escort from
Ilderton Tours visited Cottonwood on Wednesday
afternoon, August 25th. Clayt Spears (seen below
with some of the guests) reports that when he said
goodbye to them on their bus, the escort said, "This
is one of the best sites I've visited in a long time."
The rest of the guests applauded enthusiastically.
On Friday August 27th, John M. Halpenny, great-
great grandson of William Holmes and Mary Hoover
came to visit with his wife Virginia, daughter Jana
Rae Tobin, and son-in-law Tom Tobin. They are
shown in the picture above from left to right. John
and Virginia live in Ontario, while Jana Rae and
Tom were visiting from Calgary.
Pictured below are some of the guests admiring
John's mother was Ilma Mae (Finch) Halpenny,
the Dining Room table setting. Several people have
born in 1891, and she had memories of visiting
asked about the items on it. The linens are ours, the
Cottonwood as a child with her mother Minnie
dishes are ours, the flatware is ours. The bulk of the
Smith. Minnie's mother (John Halpenny's great-
other decorations came from Pier 1 and Homesense
grandmother), was Eliza Holmes Smith, eldest
and the decorating was done by our new trustee,
daughter of William and Mary Holmes. Virginia told
us that one of Ilma's memories was of the Music
Room being beautifully decorated in white and gold,
with a white grand piano with gold accents. She also
remembers that the alcoves on the stairs held
beautiful double-globe hurricane lamps.
John confirmed for us that the name Cottonwood
did refer to the Cottonwood trees on the property.
Our special visitors were thrilled with their visit
and tour, and very grateful and pleased to see the
restoration. They last visited over forty years ago and
recalled seeing pigeons flying around inside, and
they were quite disappointed in the run-down state of
the place then.
A little background on John Halpenny -he studied
forestry at U. of T., graduating in 1947. He worked
as a forester for the Ontario government, involved in
re-forestation projects, and was manager of the old
Midhurst Tree Nursery. Jana Rae has taken out a life
membership for her father and mother.
SEPTEMBER 18th OPEN HOUSE
Tues. - Fri. lOam-5pm
On Saturday, September 18th the Mansion held an
Open House to coincide with Doors Open
Haldimand County. Although we were not an official Barnwood Loft
Doors Open site this year, a steady stream of visitors ● 4 U 2 BREW WINE SUPPLIES AND FACILITIES
dropped by to see the Mansion, with the bulk of Sears/Village Shop
visitors being local people or people from nearby 905-776-2220
cottages. Sheila Moffat-Koczka (pictured below with ●HEALTHWEAR & NURSING UNIFORMS
● DELI CHEESES, NUTS & CUSTOM BASKETS
President Barbara Held) decorated the Mansion as it 15 MAIN STREET EAST, SELKIRK, ONTARIO NOA IPO FAX: (905) 776-5123
would be seen for special events or rentals.
LAST REMNANT of
In late August, the last pear tree from the original
orchard, which was located on the South lawn, fell
victim to age and the weather. The tree, which had
become hollow over the years and had a split trunk,
was partially blown down in a storm. After
determining that it was not possible to save what was
left, Wayne Richert (pictured below) was brought in
to remove it.
A number of visitors asked us about rental rates.
Pictured below with Barbara are Bob Lymburner and
Beverly Budd, who after seeing the Mansion booked
their wedding here.
Photo courtesy of Joyce Hamilton
New shoots were observed already springing up
from the rootstock, and it is hoped that one of these
can be nurtured as a replacement and a link with the
Also on hand to entertain visitors were members
Pauline Leonard and John Ashworth, demonstrating
their Military Band Organ. Cottonwood took in $201 For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every
in donations on the day. green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and
silver. ~Martin Luther
TRUSTEE CELEBRATES LUNCHEONS HOSTED
BIRTHDAY at COTTONWOOD
On Sunday, September 26th Cottonwood
Vice President Catherine Berry Stidsen
celebrated her 75th birthday with a brunch held
at Cottonwood Mansion. The event was catered
by Shelly Wilkins of Selkirk. In lieu of personal
gifts, Catherine asked for contributions to one
of three charities she designated, Cottonwood
among them. Including her rental, the brunch
brought $997.30 to the Mansion.
Pictured above are a group of retired Girl
Guide leaders, who enjoyed a luncheon at the
Mansion on Tuesday, October 12 th .
The Selkirk “Saucy Divas” Red Hat Society
also enjoyed a lunch and tour at Cottonwood on
Wednesday, October 27 th. Barbara Held, Kim
Wilkins, Joan McNeice, and Greg Hilton
catered the luncheon. Official tour guide for the
event was Dorothy Hare. Squash soup, lasagne,
Caesar Salad, mixed vegetables, home made
garlic bread, and three desserts "wowed" the
Catherine is shown above with Carol and
participants, some of whom are pictured below.
Gary Fillmore, whose birthday gift to her was
Carol's providing dinner music throughout the
event. Her selections included some of
Catherine and her late husband Bent's favourite
songs. President Barbara Held contributed the
punch and trustee Sheila Moffat-Koczka
provided table decorations, centrepieces, and a
donation to Cottonwood. Among other
donations, volunteer Greg Hilton donated the
hat! Contributions were also made to St.
Stephen's Parish (Cayuga) Step Fund, and The
Wynnewood Institute in Philadelphia,
Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always
beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight
upon you. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
the original cleaners of the exterior brick, were
contacted and immediately confirmed that a sealant
had not been used on the brick after their cleaning.
The current cost of doing so is $3,880, plus tax. On
November 2nd, the trustees voted to have this sealant
put onto the brick. The sealant is good for forty
years. It is hoped that in addition to preserving the
brick, it will reduce the cost of heating the Mansion
during the winter months.
Consultants are also being called in to check the
cedar shakes on the roof. There is some leakage on
the north side of the building and it is possible that a
Maureen Jennings (Murdoch sealant may be used there to end that problem.
Murder Mysteries) at Further information about the roof will be brought to
Cottonwood May 7th the attention of members in the next newsletter.
As members will remember, our renewal of
membership form has a space for donations other
For those of you who are fans of this tv series and
than memberships. Given the major capital expenses
this author, mark your calendar for an afternoon with
which needed to be undertaken in 2010 and those
Maureen Jennings begin at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May
that may yet need to be undertaken in 2011, we are
7, 2011. (It might be an early treat for the
hoping that those of you who are able to do so will
mothers/nurturers in your life.) The plan is to have
consider adding to your membership fee toward
other Victorian authors, artists, and artisans at the
these major expenses. Tax receipts will be issued for
Mansion as well. Admission to their displays will be
these donations, of course.
free. The talk and tea with Maureen will be $20 and
will take place in the Music Room. Seating is limited
for this portion of the afternoon. Catherine Stidsen is
the convenor and already has advance reservations
from a variety of book clubs. Please contact her at
905 772 3790 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for
reservations. More details will be in the February
Major Capital Upgrades
Security and Sealant Needs
Passed by Trustees
After a series of false alarms at the Mansion,
Charles Gee was asked to inspect the security
system. Smoke alarms were found to be the source of
the problem and subsequent investigation required
rewiring of the original installation and replacement
of all the seventeen smoke alarms. Total cost for this
work and for employing the services of security
personnel came to approximately $4,000.
In the process of restoration of the previous office
to a storage room and of the storage area in what was
the original Holmes Office, interior and exterior
bricks were found to be porous. Ace Sandblasting, Ron Schaworski of Ace Sandblasting applies sealant to the
CHRISTMAS EVENTS The traditional Country Christmas Dinner will be
held beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 12th.
Christmas decorations at Cottonwood are now in Prepaid non-refundable reservations are required and
place. We have five special collections on loan this can be made by calling Barbara Held at 905 779 3354.
year. Greg Hilton of Jarvis is lending us her collection This year's dinner will be catered by Shelly Wilkins.
of angels and snowmen. Darline Smith, whose Cost is $18 for adults and $9 for children. Seating is
collection of "Christmas Around the World", has limited and reservations are required on or before
graced many area churches and other locations, is December 5th. A special Christmas raffle will take
lending her collection to the Mansion. It will be the place at this event.
main attraction on the second floor. Barbara Held's
assortment of wreaths and Father Christmas collection The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of
will be on display. Catherine Stidsen is lending her a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~ Burton Hillis
leaded glass Christmas Creches for display. These
pieces were collected over five years and are the work HOLMES OFFICE RESTORATION
of John DeAngelis, a local artist, one of whose large COMPLETED
pieces will be part of the April 2011 Art Gala Auction
at Cottonwood. Also on display in the Music Room is Pictured below left is volunteer Kevin Porritt
a collection of Nutcrackers (pictured below) provided repairing the plaster in the Holmes Office. The picture
by trustee Sheila Moffat-Koczka and collected by her at right shows President Barbara Held after
daughter Pennee. completion of the restoration. Deanna and Ken
Schaus, along with other volunteers helped with clean-
up and preparation, while the construction work was
co-ordinated and done by Kevin Porritt and included
repairs, painting and other upgrades as well as moving
and setting up of furnishings. The Holmes Office now
houses the computer and office, the Gift Shop, and is
set up as a reception area.
The Mansion will be open December 5th from 1-4
p.m. for the public to see the Victorian style
Christmas decorations. Contributions will be
gratefully received for this tour.
On December 11th, the very popular cookie walk
will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. This year
cookies will be sold by weight at $5 per pound.
The annual Cottonwood Brass Christmas Concert
will be held the afternoon of the 11th, beginning at 2
p.m. The concert will feature both traditional and
modern Christmas music performed on antique and
modern brass instruments. Cost including
refreshments is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Reservations are recommended by calling David and
Mary Ann Pearson at 905 772 5205.
Current account balance as of October 25, 2010: COMING EVENTS
Christmas Open House
Bell Canada -$65,000 at 6.25% Sunday, December 5, 2010 1 to 4 p.m.
Loblaws Companies -$65,000 at 5.40%. Free Admission (Donations welcome)
Royal Bank GIC’s:
$20,000.00 was renewed at 1.6% for 18 months Christmas Cookie Walk
$13,992.71 was renewed at 1.25% for 1 year Saturday, December 11, 2010
-Deanna Schaus, Treasurer
10:00 a.m. – 12 noon
$5 per pound
Mayor Marie Trainer Cottonwood Brass
& Christmas Concert
Haldimand County Council Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 2 p.m.
45 Munsee Street North
P.O. Box 400 Adults $10 ~ Children (12 and under) $5
Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0 Includes refreshments ~ Limited seating
*** Reservations Dave Pearson 905-772-5205
Country Christmas Dinner
Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 1 p.m.
ART AUCTION GALA TO BE Adults $18 ~ Children (12 and under) $9
HELD APRIL 17, 2011 Pre-schoolers free
Limited seating - Pre-paid reservations
Cottonwood's first Art Auction Gala is slated for required by December 5th
Sunday, April 17, 2011, and will be held at the Call Barbara Held at 905-779-3354
Mansion. Artists and artisans wishing to participate
in the event are asked to offer an original piece of
work or one that is part of a limited edition.
Final selections for the event will be completed
by January of 2011. Participants may set reserve bids “Comfort Food Across Cultures”
on their work. They will receive 60% of the auction Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 1 p.m.
price, with 30% to the Mansion, and 10% for costs. Adults $12 ~ Children (12 and under) $6
A prospectus of the art and the artists will be Pre-schoolers free
produced giving background information. The
articles will be able to be viewed by the public on the
Monday through Saturday preceding the Sunday “Everything Chocolate”
Convenor for the auction is Mansion trustee
Valentine’s Day Brunch
Sheila Moffat-Koczka who can be reached at 905 Sunday, February 13, 2011
772-5776. Modelled on the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel's Popular Feast
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world
unbearable. ~George Bernard Shaw **********