This house was built by Allan Macpherson, a leading local businessman, militia leader, magistrate and Napanee's first postmaster, in proximity to his general store on Dundas Street. Nicknamed "The Laird of Napanee," Macpherson was at the centre of most of the town's activities. He moved to Kingston in 1849 and his son Donald took over the house.
Sir John A. MacDonald, a relation of the Macpherson family, was a frequent guest at the house. The house remained in the Macpherson family until 1896. It was purchased by the Lennox and Addington Historical Society in 1962, restored and opened as a museum in 1967.
The design of this two-storey frame house is a vernacular Georgian form with neoclassical features. It has clapboard cladding and a side gable roof with two brick-end chimneys. Its typically Georgian-style symmetrical front and rear elevations are divided into five bays with an entranceway and two flanking windows. The plan is arranged around a central hall, also typical of Georgian design. Exterior distinguishing features include: an imposing neoclassical front and rear entranceway with wide rectangular transoms with a fan-like motif in glazing bars; half sidelights with interlacing glazing bars; wide six-panel doors and pilasters with decorative moulding; matching neoclassical venetian windows over the front and rear doors; cornice returns with multiple mouldings and return eaves; beaded corner boards; and simple window frames with plain dripboard cornices and a 12-over-12 window sash. A one-and-a-half-storey kitchen wing with dormers was added on the east side in the 1830s. The house is located in a park-like riverside setting on the banks of the Napanee River.
In 1977, the Town of Napanee designated the house under the Ontario Heritage Act and, in 1982, the Ontario Heritage Trust secured a heritage easement on the building.