A heritage group in Bathurst has purchased a piece of local history and hope to preserve it.

The Doucet Hennessy House has sat on St. Peter Avenue, overlooking the Bay of Chaleur since 1858.

Michael Hennessy

Michael Hennessy and the Doucet Hennessy House Heritage Association are trying to raise $70,000 to preserve the house in Bathurst. (CBC)

It has a long and complicated history, being built by Charles Doucet and serving as a home to the francophone Doucet family, and later, the English-speaking Hennessys.

"We're looking at roughly two centuries — the first century being the Doucets and the second century roughly being the Hennessys," said Michael Hennessy, who is working to preserve the house as a member of the Doucet Hennessy House Association.

"There's been births here," said Hennessy. "My father was the last child to be born in this house.

"When the Holy Family church burned down, they had services here, in the front room upstairs," he said. "There's been wedding receptions, funerals held here. It really is when you think of it that way, a key point for the community."

The association has started an online fundraising campaign on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to try and come up with the $70,000 needed to preserve the house.

One early business model is to rent out the rooms to artists and create a cultural hub, but that prospect is still far off.