About the house
A prominent Stornoway merchant, Aeneas Mackenzie, built this red sandstone building on the corner of James Street and Matheson Road in 1881. He owned the Patent slip, which was demolished when the new ferry terminal was constructed.
Aeneas had maritime business interests, including shipbuilding and salvage. In fact, some of the wood used in the panelling and staircase for the house was salvaged from the wreck of HMS Lively, which foundered on the Chicken Rock in 1882. No lives were lost on this occasion.
The ship had been carrying members of the Napier Commission. The commission was undertaking an investigation into the political and economic situation in the Highlands and Islands and the personal circumstances of the people at that time.