The museum was founded by the will of Alfred and Helen Jacobsson on 18 February 1925. At that time, the house on Hämeenkatu was donated to the Academy Foundation of the University of Ebo. The will stated that the donators' house in a two-storey stone building would be preserved as a museum called "Ett hem" ("House" in English). The house was turned into a museum when Ms Helene Jacobsson died in 1928 and Consul Jacobsson died in 1931. The museum was opened to the public on 29 May 1932 and continued to operate in the same building until the Winter War in 1939. Part of the collection was kept in the Turku Historical Museum and in the Turku Art Museum, while art and furniture were placed in the premises of the Academic University in Ebo. However, most of the movable property was kept. The original stone building was demolished in 1955.
The house on Hämeenkatu
The stone house on Hämeenkatu was a typical classicist building built after the Great Fire in Turku. Alfred had already claimed the building in 1876. The building had two floors with additional attic and basement floors. In addition to the main building, several courtyard buildings were built on the plot, including a stable, barn and caretaker's house. The ground floor consisted of a kitchen, a chef, a serving room, a small kitchen, a dining room and in the west wing of Alfred's three office rooms. On the first floor there were a living room and a large living room, as well as family rooms, Hélène's living room, Hélène's boudoir, bedrooms and Alfred's office including a library.
The facade of the Renaissance building was designed by Charles Johnsson, a Turku architect, and later modified, most likely by C. L. Engel.
The history of the current museum building
A wooden building on Piispankata is more modest than a demolished two-story stone building. However, the building represents the same architectural era and the same historical cultural environment as its predecessor. There are several similarities between the buildings, as well as the fact that they were painted by the same architect Charles Johnsson. The wooden structure is characterised by side wings running on either side of the building and represents a Turku building stock typical of the 19th century. For many years the house served not only as a private house, but also as a hostel for schoolchildren from the archipelago.