In 1889 John James Walker bought Lot 12 from Sarah Watkins. John James Walker came to live in Akaroa in 1876, marrying Bonnet Suzanne Lemonnier in 1880. By the time they bought 114 Rue Jolie they had five children. John James Walker was not only a local builder but he was the local undertaker, building coffins from his workshop at the back of the section towards the sea.
Mr Walker died in 1915, his family lived on in the house until it was eventually sold in 1919. There have been several owners of 114 over the years, but in 2002 Murray Brereton divided the house into two shops. When we purchased the property in 2016 it had been empty for four years.
The design of the house would have been copied from a pattern book. The symmetry and order typify Neo-classicism. The cornice with paired buckets over the cornice of the hipped roof. The recessed porch is arched, with a centrally placed keystone. The facade is of ship-lap timber unlike the house across the street on the east side which had flat undressed weatherboards.
Nestled on Rue Jolie, in the heart of Akaroa's Historic Precinct is Villa 114. Empty for several years it was lovingly restored by Ali Chaffey.
It was an eight month project which saw the back of the villa completely rebuilt from the ground up. Nothing was thrown away, all old doors and windows were given new life, the old kitchen tiles found a new home and even the copper pipe was recycled into curtain rods.
A Scot by birth, Ali came to Banks Peninsula in 1999, taking on the role as Food & Beverage Manager at French Farm Winery on the other side of the harbour. A short stint at the BNZ in Akaroa was had before purchasing the Dolphin Bar & Restaurant and creating Ma Maison Restaurant in 2002. Ma Maison Deli was established two years later at the other end of the village.
Returning to Akaroa in 2015 with children in tow, in search of a new project it took a year until the purchase of 114 was secured and work could commence.