The front portion of this structure one of the earliest surviving military buildings in Ontario, was constructed as a residence about 1810 by Colonel Edward Jessup, the founder of Prescott. Following the outbreak of the War of 1812, the stone house was appropriated for use as a barracks by local militia and, later, British regulars. It was soon enclosed within a stockade with other buildings, including a log schoolhouse also converted for barracks. Although a fort was completed nearby in 1814, the Jessup building continued to form part of the strategically located Prescott garrison. Between 1815 and 1817 it served as a combined hospital and barracks store, and in 1823 the British force purchased the house from the Jessup family.