The early history of this house is unclear. It does not appear on an 1856 map of Akaroa and probably dates from the 1860s. It may have been built for an early French settler, Guindon. When work was done on the cottage in 1967, newspapers dated 1870 were discovered pasted on interior walls.
It is built of pit-sawn totara which means it was probably not built later than the 1860s. In 1877 the house was bought by Susan Britton and put in trust with all its contents just before her marriage to William Kenny. The inventory made at this time describe it as having four bedrooms, two sitting rooms and a kitchen. In 1967 it was bought by a newspaper journalists’ union and was known for many years as “the Press house” after a Christchurch daily newspaper.
With its tall, rectangular form, central door and three double-hung windows on the floor above, the house has a formal, regular appearance which has hints of Georgian or Regency about it and is not typical of most of Akaroa’s early cottages.