HOURS & ADMISSION
Note the the museum is currently closed in keeping with precautions around Covid-19. The Old Schwamb Mill is normally 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, 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.
TOURING THE MILL
At the Mill, visitors are greeted at the old office door by a museum staff member who will provide a tour of the main buildings first and second floor (the basement is featured periodically on special behind the scenes tours). In the original office, we’ll view an 1898 roll top desk, a “hidden” closet door and a substantial 1905 safe.
The story of the Schwambs transition from working a farm in the Rhineland of Germany to working and eventually owning mills in West Cambridge (later Arlington) provides a sense of the German immigrant experience. Visitors next encounter a rare and remarkable sight: a very intact, Civil War-era shop floor that contains multiple generations of tools and machines. Upstairs, we’ll see the glue room, admire examples of finished frames in the frame showroom and enjoy a temporary art show or historical exhibit in our galleries.
Don’t forget to look at the Mill’s walls for dated notes written about “first snow”, baseball scores, moulding charts, movie star pinups clipped from mid-twentieth century newspapers and magazines, amusing but serious safety reminders and even a political cartoon from the 1930s.
Tours take 45 minutes to one hour. Visitors must be accompanied by a staff person.
Address: 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, Massachusetts 02476
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Old Schwamb Mill is pleased to present a calendar of special events held throughout the year, including musical performances, lectures, and special events. Click here for our WinterSpring calendar_2020
The Gallery at the Old Schwamb Mill features several art and mill-related exhibitions throughout the year, each focusing on a variety of media and the professional work of local artists. The Gallery is open during regular Mill hours, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
IN THE GALLERY
From 1637 until the 1920s, Arlington’s Mill Brook bustled with industrial activity, ranging from grist and saw mills to large-scale manufacturing of saws, spices, wheat meal, fur clothing, wood products, and calico printing. The original source of water power from the cascading brook was gradually replaced by steam and electric power, but this fast-moving brook was a significant reason for Arlington’s early growth and development.
Informational panels, illustrated with historic photographs and maps, describe the mill owners and their businesses at nine mill sites along the brook’s three-mile course from East Lexington to the Lower Mystic Lake. The exhibit looks as efforts over the past 100 years to protect and restore the Mill Brook corridor as an ecologically healthy linear park linking public open spaces with the parallel transportation routes of the Minuteman Bikeway, Massachusetts Avenue, and Summer Street. This exhibition will be on display through June 2019.
Produced in conjunction with this exhibit, the video “Mill Brook Rediscovered” was created by Arlington resident Glenn Litton of DocuThis in partnership with curators at Arlington’s Old Schwamb Mill. You may view the video by clicking here.
OLD SCHWAMB MILL * 17 Mill Lane * Arlington MA 02476
Hours: Tuesday & Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm