About the Thomas Macy House
The original house on this property was built by Valentine Swain sometime between 1799 and 1804. It was a small three-bay house with the door on the left and two windows on the right.
Thomas Macy and his wife Eunice remodeled the house in 1832. Thomas was a sixth-generation descendent of the original settler of the same name. Thomas had risen from being a blacksmith to a shareholder in several whaleships. He and his brother, Peter, owned the Thomas Macy Warehouse on Straight Wharf, which still stands today.
Macy added 14 feet to the west end, converting it to a 2-chimney house with a central transverse stair hall. It is a Federal-style home with a roofwalk, balustrade, louvered shutters, sidelights, ship’s rail fence, elliptical blind fan and clapboard façade. The house remained in the Macy family for more than 100 years.
Jacqueline Harris purchased the house in 1947, always planning to bequeath it to the NHA. Her daughter and son-in-law, Sallie Gail and Oswald Tupancy, made her wishes a reality in 1987. Oswald set up the Tupancy-Harris Foundation in 1986, which provides funds for the permanent maintenance of the house.
Today, the house and everything you see in the home is left just as it was when Jacqueline lived here. She was meticulous about interpreting the house as it would have been in Thomas Macy’s time, stewarding this island treasure in the spirit of the whaling era.
When Thomas and Eunice Macy lived here, the garden was described as “terraced and laid out in box-edged beds where beautiful flowers succeeded one another from fragrant hyacinths to stately dahlias” similar to the garden at Hadwen House. Gardens were very ornamental and often had greenhouses. Eunice Coffin Macy was an avid gardener.
Today the garden is a green and white landscape with a manicured lawn, surrounded by white hydrangeas and other white flowers and blooming shrubs.