One of the oldest surviving houses in Canterbury, the Langlois-Eteveneaux Cottage was built in the early 1840s by Aimable Langlois. He returned to France in 1842.
In 1858 the cottage passed to Jean-Pierre Eteveneaux, who had arrived in Akaroa on the Comte de Paris. Once thought to have been prefabricated in France, the cottage was built of New Zealand native timbers and shares some features, including the form of its roof, with other early (now lost) French dwellings in Akaroa. But it apparently owes its more sophisticated French styling to a remodelling around 1900 by Jean-Baptiste Eteveneaux, Jean-Pierre’s son. Jean-Baptiste probably gave the cottage a French look – with louvred shutters, rudimentary pilasters and elegant fanlights – as a reminder of the town’s French origins.
The cottage was owned at the time by his niece, Caroline Bayley. In 1963-64, the cottage was shorn of later additions, returned to its original two-room size and furnished with French furniture. Its age, and its being refurbished “in the French style” in the early 20th century, make the cottage Akaroa’s most important reminder of its French origins.