Society gains support for purchase of Oak Island
WESTERN SHORE ‑ Oak Island may be closed to the public, but that doesn’t mean the public doesn’t still want to get on the famous treasure plot.
The Oak Island Tourism Society is currently collecting letters of support from various local groups who would like to see the island opened to the public.
The majority of the island is up for liquidation sale, as Oak Island Tours Inc., which owns 78 per cent of the land, is dissolving. The sale sites consist of the Money Pit and Bore Hole 10x, where most of the treasure hunting activity has taken place over the years.
There have been rumblings of prospective purchasers, but as of press time there are no confirmed buyers for the island lots. Society member Danny Hennigar says the group is building a support base to present to the new buyers in hopes of allowing the public to tour the famous site.
The tourism society has asked the Lunenburg Board of Trade, the Mahone Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce for letters of support.
At its recent March meeting, the Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce passed such a motion. “The board of directors of the Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce supports the preservation of the history and the allure of Oak Island and public access to the island,” notes chamber president Elaine LeBlanc.
“It’s not just Danny Hennigar and the Oak Island Tourism Society, it’s a lot of people who are interested in this and of course recognizing the potential. The socio‑economic. benefits of it are high,” says Mr. Hennigar
The island has been closed for tours for more than a decade, although interest in the island has not faltered. Last summer, landowner and Oak Island Tours Inc. co‑owner Dan Blankenship allowed the society to host two tours as part of its Explore Oak Island Days.
The group will be looking into holding the tours again this summer. The tourism society is boasting record numbers and members are joining from all over the world. Although the Oak Island Tourism Society would like to see the province buy the island, Department of Natural Resources communications officer Tim Dunn confirms that the province is not looking into such a land acquisition at this time.