Society president Colin Curleigh says 34 members attended a general meeting on Monday and after considerable discussion, members voted to accept the provincial government’s offer to transfer the ownership.
Final details are being worked out, but Curleigh says the transfer could happen within a couple of weeks.
It means the Society will finally have full control over maintaining, renovating and repairing the building. The Society also plans to modernize the museum’s displays of artifacts and historical records from the communities along the Parrsborough Shore.
The building, which dates from the 1770s, was once the summer home of Sir Charles Tupper. As premier of Nova Scotia, Tupper led the province into Confederation. He later served briefly as prime minister.
A year ago, local MP Scott Armstrong announced a Legacy Fund to help with restoration of Ottawa House and to finance a special event there this July. Under the terms of the agreement, the federal government will match every dollar the Historical Society raises up to $385,000.
Colin Curleigh says the Society plans to launch a concerted fund-raising campaign soon.
“We’ve got a bit of different leverage now,” he says. “If it is ours, people seem a lot more willing to give to a private building than a government one.”