Join us live on Thurs., November 12, for a free online lecture by Susan Wilson, “Enterprising Women in Boston: 1862-1914.”

Details here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Mill Opening Information

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington is pleased to announce that it has reopened to the public for in-person tours.  Our regular public hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. The Mill’s public tours will incorporate information related to both outdoor and indoor spaces and buildings. 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.

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.

In compliance with the need to limit large gatherings, we are pleased present our first virtual Fall lecture: Arlington in 1970:  Looking Back 50 Years with Richard Duffy on Thursday, October 29, 7 pm; instructions on how to logon to view will be posted here within the next couple of weeks.

Richard A. Duffy, noted Arlington historian and author, notes that “Every year, a community has something interesting to say for itself, but the start of the Seventies was a particularly exciting year of change in Arlington.  Nostalgia is guaranteed as we experience the Arlington of a half-century ago.  And we’ll examine pivotal events of 1970 that continue to have a strong influence on the vibrant community we know today

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.

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 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
Telephone: 781-643-0554

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