15 Triphammer Road
Thomas McSweeney House, 1924
The story of 15 Triphammer Road begins at the South Shore Quarry located in South Hingham which was then owned by contractor John Rooney. Rooney’s company built several stone churches in Boston as well as Hingham’s St. John’s Episcopal Church. His office was located in what is today The Quarry Restaurant. When Rooney’s young MIT-trained engineer, Thomas McSweeney, became engaged to his daughter, Margaret, there was no question about what kind of house they would build. Thomas and his bride built their house from unique seam-face granite direct from the quarry. Workers from the quarry assembled the house between paying jobs, so it took more than a year to build. When finished in 1924, however, the McSweeneys had their own little castle nestled in several acres of woods near Jan (John) Hornstra’s dairy farm.
Styled like an Elizabethan manor on the outside, the home’s floorplan was definitely modern. The first floor occupied two levels. Guests entered the living room on one level, while the kitchen was recessed 3 steps below. The multi leveled floor plan was rather popular in Hingham in the 1920s, and can be seen in several of the houses Hingham architect Charles Everett. Tall windows in the living room added grandeur, while a big fireplace in the kitchen, which has since been moved to the rear of the house, kept things cozy and not too modern. The tall living room windows were boarded up during World War II to observe blackout regulations. The McSweeneys left two of the windows covered after the war: a granddaughter recounts that they were beautiful, but made the house expensive to heat. After their two children were grown, Thomas and Margaret moved to a smaller house nearby, and watched several more houses go up in the neighborhood. The current owners built an addition to the east side of the house in 2011, using carefully matched seam face granite from the original quarry.