This is one of two cottages built by an early settler, Captain Bruce, for his widowed brother-in-law, John Donnet, and his nieces (John Donnet’s daughters) when they arrived from Scotland in 1855 (see Cottage, 9 Bruce Terrace).
This cottage became the home of a married daughter of John Donnet’s, Isabella, whose husband was William Bruce (who was, confusingly, not related to Captain Bruce). After William Bruce’s death, Isabella remained in the cottage until her own death in 1915.
With a sharp triangular dormer at the centre of its frontage, the cottage originally had no verandah. There were two front rooms, a kitchen in a lean-to at the rear and two small attic bedrooms. About 1922, a second building was brought onto the site by sledge from William Street and attached to the original cottage.
Many New Zealand cottages have been added to and extended in this way through the years. This cottage shares with 9 Bruce Terrace the picket fences and garden settings which, along with their ages, make Akaroa’s old cottages special.