At the Mill, visitors are greeted at the old office door by a museum staff member who will provide a tour of the main building’s 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.