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.

Tour the Old Schwamb Mill! (6:49). See the inner workings of this nineteenth and twentieth century woodworking factory, where oval frames are still produced today. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

Creating an Old Schwamb Mill Frame (3:36). 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)

Power and Machines of the Old Schwamb Mill (7:50). A close-up look at the machines and power systems of the Old Schwamb Mill: the Hercules water turbine and its rare Gillespie governor, the nineteenth-century coal boiler that once powered a steam engine and heated a wood kiln, and the moulding machine and knives that once produced the mill’s high quality picture frame moulding. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

Or go right to the machine you’re interested in:

Hercules turbine
Gillespie governor
coal boiler and dryhouse
S.A. Woods moulding machine

The Old Schwamb Mill, Yesterday and Today (7:27). Learn about the four generations of the Schwamb family that ran the wood working mill, Patricia Fitzmaurice who saved it for future generations, and the mill’s educational mission today. (Video made possible by Friends of the Mill and a grant from Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area)

Learn how …

the Schwambs came from Germany and built their mills in Arlington, Mass.
Patricia Fitzmaurice acted to save the Old Schwamb Mill for generations to come
the Mill thrives today as an educational resource and a community center for history and the arts

Lectures Hosted by the Old Schwamb Mill

Johannes Kirchmayer of Bavaria & Arlington: Master Wood Carver with Doreen Stevens 2021-3-25. Johannes Kirchmayer (1860-1930) was the leading architectural woodcarver of his era. Born in Bavaria and heir to the region’s strong tradition of woodcarving, Kirchmayer also studied in a number of European cities before immigrating to New York in 1880, finally settling in Boston. A man of strong ideals, he was a founding member of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts in 1897 and frequently contributed pieces to their exhibitions. In 1896 Johannes Kirchmayer married Frances LeClair, and they moved to a home on Crescent Hill Avenue in the Arlington Heights Crescent Hill neighborhood. He thrived in his new setting, becoming a community leader.

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.”