The original building from which the present structure evolved was probably erected some time around 1865-1870 as a two-storeyed, gable-ended house with dormer windows. In the early 20th century, the Sisters of Mercy, who had come to Akaroa to open a convent school, lived briefly in the house. A 1932 fire badly damaged the building and its second storey was never rebuilt.
Used after the fire mostly as a shop, the building has been added to and had its interior altered and windows replaced. Though it looks nothing like it did when first built, its early history, especially its association with the Sisters of Mercy, give the building interest.