Captain Bruce, a whaler, settled in the infant town of Akaroa and ran the Bruce Hotel on the waterfront from 1842. In 1856 he built two cottages (see also Captain Bruce’s cottage, 9 Aubrey Street) for his brother-in-law, John Donnet, and nieces who arrived from Scotland in 1855, after the death of Captain Bruce’s sister. This cottage was originally the home of John Donnet and his four unmarried daughters.
After John Donnet’s death in 1873, the cottage passed, with other property in the area, to the husband of one of his daughters, William Bruce (who was not related to the Captain).
The cottage, less modified than its neighbour, which was built at the same time, has a prominent triangular dormer (which is close to a cross gable) above its curved verandah.