Old Schwamb Mill

Old Schwamb Mill The Old Schwamb Mill is the oldest continuously operating mill site in the United States. There has been a mill operating at this site since c.1650.
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In Arlington, Massachusetts, a woodworker today is making exquisite hand-turned oval frames on 19th century lathes in a wooden mill building dating from the time of the Civil War. The historic Old Schwamb Mill site itself survives as a continuously operating site where, for more than three hundred years, immigrant Puritan, Yankee, and German entrepreneurs harnessed the free water power of a narrow, fast moving brook to run machines and develop a series of family-owned businesses. The Mill's story is as compelling as the beauty of the frames produced here for more than a century.

Mission: Since 1969, the Old Schwamb Mill has been held in trust for the people of the United States and operated by the Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, a non-profit charitable educational organization which maintains the Mill, Dryhouse and Barn principally for preservation and "living history" museum purposes. Visitors to the Mill are cordially welcomed.

Father's Day is next Sunday! If you are ordering a surprise from Amazon, take a moment to use Amazon Smile and your purc...
06/17/2020

Father's Day is next Sunday! If you are ordering a surprise from Amazon, take a moment to use Amazon Smile and your purchase will automatically benefit the Old Schwamb Mill with a contribution from Amazon. Thank you and Happy Father's Day!

Schwamb Shares #8Telephone Comes to the MillHello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying well and enjoying our o...
06/12/2020
Telephone Comes to the Mill

Schwamb Shares #8
Telephone Comes to the Mill

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we bring you along as we explore the use of the Schwambs' telephone 1898-1921. You can read the post here: https://bit.ly/2UEHU9R

We are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation. As more of the Commonwealth safely opens to the public in the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Reminder -- The Mill's Friends of the Mill is in progress. Please consider renewing as (or becoming) a Friend of the Mill this spring. Renew securely online with a credit card here: https://schwambsite.wordpress.com/donate

or you may send a check (payable to Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.) to Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, MA 02476.

Thank you to those who have responded!

Stay healthy!

Dermot Whittaker, President
Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.
17 Mill Lane
Arlington MA 02476

Eighth in our occasional series of Schwamb Shares Visitors  who have toured the Mill’s downstairs front office may have learned that the Mill’s current phone number 781-643-0554 is the essenti…

06/10/2020
Donate

Friends of the Mill Appeal
A letter from all of us here at the Old Schwamb Mill

Dear Friends,
At this time of year, the Old Schwamb Mill would normally be sending its Friends of the Mill appeal by mail to hundreds of supporters and visitors.

As we all know, this year is different. Our main job of welcoming people to the Mill to see its tools, craft work, interiors and exhibits is on hold while we all avoid close contact to avoid spread of Covid-19.

We are keeping busy nonetheless by…
- Planning for a safe reopening for tours in keeping with the guidance of local and state agencies
- Posting weekly “Schwamb Shares,” articles of research about our Mill and the people who worked here
- Preparing short videos to make our exhibits accessible by YouTube, Facebook, and the Mill’s website
- Revamping the Mill’s tour and training materials
- Giving the restroom a fresh coat of paint and a new sink

What hasn’t changed is that the Old Schwamb Mill still needs its supporters. Several generous donations have already given the Mill some breathing room to meet overhead without touching invested funds that are building our endowment.

Please consider renewing as (or becoming) a Friend of the Mill -- or becoming a recurring donor -- this spring. Here are some options for becoming a Friend in 2020:

- Renew securely online with a credit card by going to our Donate page on our website www.oldschwambmill.org under Become Involved.

- Consider a recurring monthly donation – an option you will see on the same donation form online. An automatic monthly gift of 5 or 10 dollars allows even modest support to add up over time.

- Send a check (payable to Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.) by mail to:
Old Schwamb Mill
17 Mill Lane
Arlington, MA 01730

In the meantime, we welcome suggestions from all supporters on how the Mill can be more available in this challenging time.

Your past support is appreciated by all the Directors.

Sincerely,

Dermot Whittaker
President, Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.

As we posted earlier, an adapted version of the Old Schwamb Mill's original 2018-2019 exhibit, "A Brook Runs Through It:...
06/06/2020

As we posted earlier, an adapted version of the Old Schwamb Mill's original 2018-2019 exhibit, "A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington's Mill Brook Legacy," was mounted in the second-floor gallery of Arlington Town Hall in March 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Town Hall remains closed. Since we cannot view the exhibit in person, the curators have assembled this online presentation that you can peruse in your leisure time at home.

Enjoy this second installment of "A Brook Runs Through It," which describes the history of the mills that were located along Arlington's Mill Brook, as well as our own Charles Schwamb Mill.

An adapted version of the Old Schwamb Mill's original 2018-2019 exhibit, "A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington's Mill Broo...
05/26/2020

An adapted version of the Old Schwamb Mill's original 2018-2019 exhibit, "A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington's Mill Brook Legacy," was mounted in the second-floor gallery of Arlington Town Hall on March 2, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Town Hall was closed in mid-March and it remains closed indefinitely. Since we cannot view the exhibit in person, the curators have assembled this online presentation that you can peruse in your leisure time at home. We will post the informational panels, illustrated with historic photographs and maps, which 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 as a series here on our page. Enjoy the first installment of the exhibit below.

Hello Friends and Volunteers:Welcome to summer! We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schw...
05/22/2020
Paper Ephemera: Windows into the Schwamb Mill’s Work Culture

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

Welcome to summer! We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week Edward Gordon shares a few of the cartoons, pictures, and labels that adorn the walls of the Old Schwamb Mill. The Mill's paper ephemera could fill a book, but Ed looks at just six. You can read the post here: https://bit.ly/2AN5vOA

Reminder that we are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation. As more of the Commonwealth safely opens to the public in the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing you all soon.

This period of museum closures due to the COVID-19 is a challenge for non-profits like the Old Schwamb Mill. Your contribution in support of the Mill, however modest, is much appreciated at this time. We look forward to reopening soon!

Stay healthy!

Seventh in an occasional series of Schwamb Shares During the course of a tour of the Old Schwamb Mill objects such as tools, machines and historical artifacts are the main attraction. A less eviden…

Hello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This w...
05/08/2020
Jacob Schwamb’s Divine Initiative: Co-founding The First Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week Edward Gordon looks at Jacob Schwamb, first of the Schwamb brothers to arrive in Boston, and co-founder of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Zion which still stands on Shawmut Avenue and Waltham Street in the South End. You can read the post here:
https://bit.ly/2SKX3p6

We are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation.

This period of museum closures due to the COVID-19 is a challenge for non-profits like the Old Schwamb Mill. Your contribution in support of the Mill, however modest, is much appreciated at this time. You may mail your contribution to the Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, Arlington MA 02476. Thank you!

We look forward to reopening soon! Stay healthy!

Sixth in our occasional series of Schwamb Shares. Jacob Schwamb (1815-1881) was the oldest of six Schwamb brothers who immigrated from Germany’s Rhineland to the Boston area between 1838 and 1857. …

05/05/2020
The Only Wood Turner

Meet David W. Graf, the wood turner at the Old Schwamb Mill. Learn about the hand turned, wooden frames he creates there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGt-mB8hb5w

Meet David Graf, the wood turner at the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington, Massachusetts. Learn about the mill and the hand turned, wooden frames he creates there.

Hello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This w...
04/30/2020
Where’s the Water Wheel?

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we explain how the Mill was water powered and take a trip below the Mill's cellar to what we call "the wheel pit." You can read the post here: https://bit.ly/2VPJ4QN.

Reminder that we are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

This period of museum closures due to the COVID-19 is a challenge for non-profits like the Old Schwamb Mill. Your contribution in support of the Mill, however modest, is much appreciated at this time. We look forward to reopening soon!

Stay healthy!

Fifth in our occasional series of Schwamb Shares A volunteer does not lead many tour groups through the Old Schwamb Mill before they hear the question: “Where is the water wheel?” Youngsters fresh …

Hello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This w...
04/19/2020
The Largest Frame the Schwamb Mill Ever Turned

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we describe our search for an 83-inch diameter round frame turned in 1917, claimed at the time to be the "largest circular picture frame ever turned by hand." So far, our search is unsuccessful -- but we haven't given up! You can read the post here: https://bit.ly/3bxVuCF

Reminder that we are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation.

This period of museum closures due to the COVID-19 is a challenge for non-profits like the Old Schwamb Mill. Your contribution in support of the Mill, however modest, is much appreciated at this time. We look forward to reopening soon!

Stay healthy!

Dermot Whittaker, President
Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.
17 Mill Lane
Arlington MA 02476

Fourth in an occasional series of “Schwamb Shares.” In Jacob’s Bitzer’s “History of the Mills along Sucker Brook,” read at a meeting of the Arlington Historical Society in 1…

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we'll hear from OSM Board...
04/10/2020
The Mill’s Warren Harding Banner

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we'll hear from OSM Board Member Doreen Stevens who rediscovered the Mill's cloth banner of Warren Harding and researched the Arlington Heights artist who created it. You can read the post at https://bit.ly/3c8cyPd

Reminder that we are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation.

This period of museum closures due to the COVID-19 poses an economic challenge for non-profits such as the Old Schwamb Mill. Your contribution in support of the Mill, however modest, is much appreciated at this time. You may donate at https://bit.ly/3ecs6Dt

We look forward to reopening and seeing you all soon!

Third in our occasional series of “Schwamb Shares.” One just didn’t expect to see President Warren Gamaliel Harding in the Old Schwamb Mill. But, there he was, all 40 inches by 47 inche…

Schwamb Mill Shares # 2The Plimoth Grist Mill at Jenney's PondHello Friends and Volunteers:Here is the second in our ser...
04/02/2020
Big Wheel Keeps on Turning, Grind Stones Keep on Grinding: A Brief History of the Plimoth Grist Mill Site

Schwamb Mill Shares # 2
The Plimoth Grist Mill at Jenney's Pond

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

Here is the second in our series of "Schwamb Shares" -- a brief history of the Plimoth Grist Mill in Plymouth, Massachusetts with some great photos, written by the Mill's own Director of Museum Programs, Ed Gordon. You can read it at https://bit.ly/2JxXSwP.

Reminder that we are posting these mill-related articles written by our team members here at the Old Schwamb Mill while we remain closed during the current COVID-19 situation. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Stay healthy!

Dermot Whittaker, President
Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.
17 Mill Lane
Arlington MA 02476

P.S. Missed last week's Schwamb Share on the mill and the 1918 influenza pandemic? You can read it at https://bit.ly/34ce68k

Second in an occasional series of “Schwamb Shares” Weeks from now, when events have run their course and we are free to roam the New England countryside, a day trip to visit the Plimoth…

Our friends at Freedom's Way offers virtual cultural experiences at http://freedomsway.org/experience/virtual-cultural-e...
03/31/2020
Virtual Cultural Experiences | Freedom's Way National Heritage Area

Our friends at Freedom's Way offers virtual cultural experiences at http://freedomsway.org/experience/virtual-cultural-experiences/, including Arlington's own Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum.

As a partnership endeavor, the Freedom’s Way Heritage Association serves as facilitator, host, and guide for heritage area-wide presentation and activities. The Association recognizes the special identity of the region and works to preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources that define its sense of place. The heritage area has a special relationship with the National Park Service and Minute Man National Historical Park.

Virtual Cultural Experiences Take a Tour Arlington, MA Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum 3D/Virtual Reality Tour Clinton, MA Museum of Russian Icons Mobile Tour Concord, MA Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House Virtual Visit Lexington, MA Lexington Historical Society Virtual Tour of Buckman Tavern Lincoln, M...

The Old Schwamb Mill is closed in keeping with the Commonwealth's health advisory concerning the COVID-19 virus. Since w...
03/26/2020
The Glue Room’s Influenza Bulletin

The Old Schwamb Mill is closed in keeping with the Commonwealth's health advisory concerning the COVID-19 virus.

Since we are all staying at home for some weeks and the Mill is closed, our directors, consultants and volunteers will be sharing items of interest about the Old Schwamb Mill, mills in general, and upcoming activities, exhibits, and research question.

We thought we’d start the series of "Schwamb Shares" with a look at the 1918 Influenza Bulletin on the door of Mill's Glue Room. You can read about it here: https://schwambsite.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/the-glue-rooms-influenza-notice/

We hope you'll enjoy the research and insights each of us at the Mill will share in the weeks to come. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Stay healthy!

First in an occasional series of “Schwamb Shares” Hello to all our friends and supporters. Since we are all staying at home for some weeks to come, and the Mill is closed, our directors…

A BROOK RUNS THROUGH IT: ARLINGTON'S MILL BROOK LEGACYOn display at the Arlington Town Hall Gallery (second floor), 730 ...
03/11/2020

A BROOK RUNS THROUGH IT:
ARLINGTON'S MILL BROOK LEGACY
On display at the Arlington Town Hall Gallery (second floor), 730 Massachusetts Avenue
Exhibit: March 2 - April 30, 2020
Reception: Sunday, March 22, 5:00-7:00 pm

The exhibit, shown previously at the Old Schwamb Mill, provides an historical overview of Mill Brook and its legacy of mills and mill owners, mill ponds, and the amazing variety of products invented and produced here. Mill Brook originates in East Lexington in the vast wetlands now known as Arlington's Great Meadows. Traveling nearly three miles and dropping about 150 feet, the brook once generated enough water flow to fill seven mill ponds that powered eight different mill sites in Arlington. From 1637 until the 1920s, 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. Free.

March is Women's History Month! It's a great time to visit the Mill's gallery to view our exhibit "She Did It: Women Sav...
03/03/2020

March is Women's History Month!
It's a great time to visit the Mill's gallery to view our exhibit "She Did It: Women Saving History."

In 1969, Patricia Fitzmaurice rallied backers to purchase a derelict mill building due for demolition. Today, Arlington’s Old Schwamb Mill is a vibrant living history museum that serves as a center of craftsmanship, industrial history, and the arts. Join us as we celebrate the 50th year of the Old Schwamb Mill, the realization of visionary founder Patricia Fitzmaurice's dream, as well as the accomplishments of other women preservationists. Free, with $5.00 suggested donation.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

Saturday, February 22, 11 am-12:30 pmBEHIND THE SCENES: A SCHWAMB MILL BASEMENT TOURSchwamb Mill Director and engineer R...
02/07/2020

Saturday, February 22, 11 am-12:30 pm
BEHIND THE SCENES:
A SCHWAMB MILL BASEMENT TOUR
Schwamb Mill Director and engineer Robert Tanner and friend of the mill Keith O’Boyle will explain two 19th-century power systems at the Mill: the water turbine and the steam engine. Visitors are not usually allowed into the basement of the Old Schwamb Mill or to visit the 1873 boilers and steam engine base in the buildings across the street, but we are opening these spaces for this guided tour. In the Mill basement there is an 1888 Holyoke Hercules turbine still located in a turbine pit, and a very rare Gillespie turbine governor, in addition to an elliptical/oval lathe that will swing out more than six feet. Free, with $5.00 suggested donation.

It's a great day to visit the Old Schwamb Mill. Take a tour and visit the gallery to view the exhibit "She Did It: Women...
02/01/2020

It's a great day to visit the Old Schwamb Mill. Take a tour and visit the gallery to view the exhibit "She Did It: Women Saving History" and learn how Patricia C. Fitzmaurice saved the Old Schwamb Mill from certain destruction. The Mill is open until 4 pm. Free, with $5.00 suggested donation.

Address

17 Mill Ln
Arlington, MA
02476

General information

Introduction - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/home.html#intro The Frames - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/theframes/theframes.html Take a Tour - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/tour/tour.html Research and History - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/research/research.html Preservation - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/preservation/preservation.html Friends of Schwamb Mill - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/friends/friends.html Visit the Mill - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/visit/visit.html Upcoming events & Newsletter - http://www.oldschwambmill.org/Bluestone.html Visitors interested in industrial history , woodworking, mechanics -- or simply the ambiance of an ancient, working manufactory in its original historic setting -- are cordially welcomed to the Mill. The three Mill buildings (Mill, Dryhouse, and Barn), including the woodworking shop floor in the Mill, are open to the public on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Individuals and groups are welcome. Please call ahead at 781-643-0554 to make appointments for tours by large groups.

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Today’s events are still happening! Jazz music is happening now until 2:30 PM, followed by a gallery talk at 3 PM by Stan Edelson, who’s art show opens today. We are open until 7 PM tonight.