Announcing our newest exhibition in the Schwamb Mill Gallery:

Into the Woods: From Trees to Frames

Beginning on Saturday, December 11, you are invited to view the newest exhibition in the Schwamb Mill’s Gallery. Into the Woods: From Trees to Frame, which traces the steps involved in making a frame beginning with identifying individual tree species (most native to New England) to learning how our artisan woodturner David W. Graf uses the original Schwamb Mill machinery to create truly unique made-to-order oval and circular frames. Special events will be scheduled during the exhibit’s run, which will be through June, 2021. The Gallery is open during our normal hours, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Note that the Mill will be closed in observance of Christmas on December 25 and that masks are still mandated for inside spaces in Arlington. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Support the Old Schwamb Mill

For the Old Schwamb Mill and its many supporters, the years 2020-2021 have 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. 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.


Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm and by appointment


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

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The Old Schwamb Mill