The Museum Is Currently Closed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In accordance with the guidance of the Arlington Department of Health and Human Services, the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington is closed to the public for in-person tours or visitation as of December 15, 2020.  

More information about regional closures from the Town of Arlington can be read here.

We look forward to reopening when conditions warrant. In the mean time, we encourage those interested in the Mill Board of Directors to enjoy our updated Video page and our frequent “Schwamb Shares” blog.

Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.

Support the Mill’s Annual Appeal

For the Old Schwamb Mill and its many supporters, 2020 has been a year like no other. Despite the pandemic – as our Works in Progress bulletin illustrates – the directors and staff have found plenty of ways to further the Mill’s mission, through research, writing and repair of the Mill’s public-facing spaces indoors and outdoors. Through our monthly blog series, filmed tours, and live virtual events on Zoom and ACMi, we’ve done our best to keep up communication with the Mill’s audience, locally and across the country.

If our efforts have made a difference, we hope you will join us with your financial support at year’s end. Even a modest gift makes the Mill’s maintenance and day-to-day work easier now and in the coming year.

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington, Massachusetts, is located on the oldest continuously operating mill site in the United States. Mills have been located on the main building site since the late 1600s. In 1971, the Old Schwamb Mill was listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.

Our wood turner David W. Graf creating a frame.

In 1864, Charles Schwamb purchased a rebuilt, two-and-a-half story wood frame industrial building that had been built three years earlier but never occupied. The Schwambs proceeded to build west and east wing additions in 1869 and the early 1880s, respectively and were still making picture frames on the premises as late as 1969. After 105 years operating as a family-owned business, a remarkable transition from working factory to a living history museum was made possible by the vision and determination of Arlington resident and early preservationist Patricia Cunningham Fitzmaurice.

The Mill’s unique 19th-century elliptical lathes, its original belt-driven shaft-and-pulley machinery, and the original hand-turning process are used to this day to create custom-made oval and circular frames for customers around the world.


As noted above, the Mill is currently closed to the public in line with Covid-19 precautions.


Address: 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, Massachusetts 02476
Telephone: 781-643-0554

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The Old Schwamb Mill