The brick morgue was built by the Palmerston North Borough Council in 1904 and was transported from its original site in Church Street (at the rear of the old Opera House) to a new site at Terrace End Cemetery in Napier Road in 1908. The council erected a public morgue to accommodate the bodies of people who died of infectious diseases or who had no relations or friends in the town. It was relocated after the Opera House was built as it was thought it lowered the tone of the locality. Relocating the morgue cost £145, the same as the cost to build it. It was used until 1938 when the Hospital Board erected a larger structure in the grounds of the Public Hospital.