Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington is pleased to announce that it will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 4 pm. Our regular public hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays at the same times. The Mill’s public tours will incorporate information related to both outdoor and indoor spaces and buildings.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has permitted museums and cultural and historic facilities to open as part of Phase III, Step 1 of the current statewide reopening plan. As part of the reopening, Mill staff will monitor occupancy as needed to facilitate social distancing. Extensive sanitizing and safety protocols will be in place, including having hand sanitizing stations available. Cleaning agents will be used to disinfect common surfaces after each tour. Visitors and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. The Commonwealth recommends that tour parties be limited to members of the same household only.
Members of the Board of Directors and Mill staff are excited to welcome you back to the historic Old Schwamb Mill. You are encouraged to call us at 781-643-0554 in advance of your visit or with any questions.
Stay healthy everyone,
Board of Directors
Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.
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.
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.
HOURS & ADMISSION
As noted above, the Mill is currently open to the public in line with Covid-19 precautions. The Old Schwamb Mill is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm for guided tours of the Mill, art gallery viewing, and sales of our finely-crafted frames. On Tuesdays by appointment, see artisan David W. Graf demonstrate frame-turning on original 19th century lathes, still used today to create handmade oval and circular frames. Events at the Mill are free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5.00. Group tours are available by appointment.
Address: 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, Massachusetts 02476