Video Tours and Events

Experience the Mill virtually with the video tours and Mill-hosted lectures below. You can also visit the Mill’s YouTube channel.

Creating an Old Schwamb Mill Frame. Master woodturner David W. Graf of the Old Schwamb Mill walks through the steps in construction and turning one of the mill’s oval picture frames. David uses the same period equipment the Schwambs used to make tens of thousands of frames over the Mill’s 104 year history. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

The Dryhouse and the Boiler. In 1873, the Schwambs installed a coal boiler to create steam for a steam engine. At this time, many mills made this move from water power to steam power. Heat from the boiler also dried wood stacked on the floor above. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

The Turbine. In 1888, the Schwambs installed a modern water turbine — more efficient than their old water wheel — to provide mechanical power to the mill.

(Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

The Gillespie Governor. The 1888 water turbine was controlled by a Gillespie Governor, an ingenious device to keep turbine and the mill’s machinery running at a constant speed. This is a rare instance of a Gillespie Governor retired in place. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

Lectures Hosted by the Old Schwamb Mill

In the Spirit of the Dutch Golden Age: A Talk about the Still Life Photography of Brian Maguire with Louise Fontana Maguire and Edward W. Gordon 2021-2-28. The current exhibition in the Schwamb Mill’s gallery showcases the fine art photography of the late Brian Maguire. It is an extraordinary collection of his work, reminiscent of the warm, vibrant paintings by the Dutch master painters. An Arlington resident, Mr. Maguire lived in Flanders, Belgium, for ten years and spoke Dutch. In this talk his wife Louise Fontana Maguire, who worked closely with her husband to mat and frame his work, speaks about aspects of his artistic philosophy and painting techniques.

Buildings in Boston and Arlington with German Immigrant Associations with Edward W. Gordon 2021-1-28. This virtual presentation looks at buildings in Boston as well as Arlington that owe their existence to the spiritual, commercial and housing needs of German immigrants from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Ed discusses modest and magnificent churches in Boston’s South and Mission Hill through a still-active brewery in Jamaica Plain to the mills and houses of the Schwamb brothers of Arlington.

Enterprising Women in Boston: 1862-1914 with Susan Wilson 2020-11-12. In this lecture, photographer and public historian Susan Wilson traces the origins and development of several of Boston’s most enterprising women from 1862 to 1914 and the theories behind their unique strengths and accomplishments.

Arlington in 1970: Looking Back 50 Years with Richard Duffy 2020-10-29. Richard A. Duffy, noted Arlington historian and author, observes 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.”