OTISFIELD — The Otisfield Historical Society has received a $15,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation in Yarmouth, which will allow the group to finish its three-year long restoration of the Old Town House on Bell Hill Road.

The grant will allow the society to complete the well, septic system and other work to provide a fully operational handicapped bathroom, as well as the completion of the interior of the new addition to the building.

The Old Town House was built in 1905 as a place to hold town meetings and to vote. After 1991, the town no longer used the building. The wood-frame building was deeded to the historical society by voters in 2009, after it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places four years earlier. It replaced an earlier building at the same location and was used for town meetings, selectmen’s meetings and voting.

It was also used as a social and meeting hall through the 1920s, but in 1985 town meetings were moved to the municipal building on Route 121, according to Maine Historic Preservation Commission records. Voting continued at the Town House until 2002, when the building was closed to public use.

This is the second grant the society has received from the Davis Foundation, member Jean Hankins said. The first Davis Family Foundation grant of $20,000, helped fund the removal of two old ells and their replacement by a new addition at the rear of the Town House to provide space for an American Disabilities Act-compliant restroom, basement stairs and a second exit.

In February 2013, the society used its savings and donations from members to break ground on a new basement in order to stabilize the building and provide a place for its archives. Voters approved giving the society more than $26,000 from grant funds to complete the Sybil Lamb Archival Room in the basement.

The restoration project included lowering the Town House onto a new foundation. The building is in wetlands, so the area was built up 44 inches so it could stay on its original footprint, as required by the National Register of Historic Places.

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