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.

Operating as usual

09/03/2020
Badger at the Old Schwamb Mill

On Sunday, September 13 at 2 pm, the Old Schwamb Mill will present a free, virtual show via Zoom featuring Margaret Moody Puppets of Arlington.
“The Badger Meets the Fairies” tells the tale of gentle Mr. Badger, who is thrilled to meet Blossom, a flower fairy, in the garden. He flies away with her to help the fairies build a playground. See a preview of the show at https://vimeo.com/453739945
Accompanied by musical arrangements by Peter Lehman and Ann Wynne, this program is geared toward preschoolers to age 8; children will be treated to this imaginative story as well as a live segment on how to make your own puppet at home. The main puppet show will last approximately 30 minutes, with supplementary content as well.
Registration is not required; the link to join the show is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89972529386?pwd=VWM1VFkwY3VmazZVd3dFUUlxVEJsQT09
Meeting ID: 899 7252 9386 Passcode: 966075.

Many thanks to Reed Snyder for generous help producing the video of the puppet show.

Short peek at Badger Meets the Fairies

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington announces that it will reopen to visitors on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 4 pm...
08/26/2020

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington announces that it will reopen to visitors on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 4 pm. Our regular public hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays at the same times. As its first public program, we are pleased to present a free, live virtual puppet show via Zoom for children presented by Margaret Moody Puppets of Arlington. The program, hosted by Edward Gordon, Director of Museum Programs at the Mill, will be held on Sunday September 13 live at 2 pm.
“The Badger Meets the Fairies” tells the tale of gentle Mr. Badger, who is thrilled to meet Blossom, a flower fairy, in the garden. He flies away with her to help the fairies build a playground. But then it’s complicated: the fairies won’t use cement; and Mr. Badger wants to learn to fly.
Accompanied by musical arrangements by Peter Lehman and Ann Wynne, this program is geared toward preschoolers to age 8; children will be treated to this imaginative story as well as a live segment on how to make your own puppet at home. The main puppet show will last approximately 30 minutes, with supplementary content as well.
Registration is not required; the link to join the show is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89972529386?pwd=VWM1VFkwY3VmazZVd3dFUUlxVEJsQT09
Meeting ID: 899 7252 9386 Passcode: 966075.
The online program is free; if you would like to make a donation to the Old Schwamb Mill, visit https://bit.ly/2FMMf6j. For more information, call (781) 643-0554 on Saturday, September 12.

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington is pleased to announce that it will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 12 fro...
08/26/2020

The Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington is pleased to announce that it will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 4 pm. Our regular public hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays at the same times. The Mill’s public tours will incorporate information related to both outdoor and indoor spaces and buildings.
In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Mill closed its doors in March in compliance with recommendations of the Town of Arlington’s Department of Health & Human Services, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Health & Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has permitted museums and cultural and historic facilities to open as part of Phase III, Step 1 of the current statewide reopening plan. As part of the reopening, Mill staff will monitor occupancy as needed to facilitate social distancing. Extensive sanitizing and safety protocols will be in place, including having hand sanitizing stations available. Cleaning agents will be used to disinfect common surfaces after each tour. Visitors and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. The Commonwealth recommends that tour parties be limited to members of the same household only.
Members of the Board of Directors and Mill staff are excited to welcome you back to the historic Old Schwamb Mill. The Mill is located at 17 Mill Lane in Arlington. You are encouraged to call us at 781- 643-0554 in advance of your visit or with any questions.

Hello Friends:We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we look at ...
08/25/2020
Edward Schwamb and the Crescent Zouave Fife and Drum Corps

Hello Friends:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we look at one of Jacob Schwamb's descendants who, besides running several woodworking businesses, led some important musical projects in Arlington. This post can be read here: https://bit.ly/2FPQwpC or by clicking on the image below.

In additional news, the Mill has been awarded a matching grant from Freedom's Way Heritage Association toward the filming of an online virtual tour of the Mill. Thanks to volunteer hours and two donations for the project, as well as the matching funds awarded, we will have a multi-segment online tour of the Mill available soon.

We are also pleased to announce that the Old Schwamb Mill will open to the public beginning Saturday, September 12 with sanitary precautions in place. Our regular hours will be Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. We encourage you to call us at 781-643-0554 prior to your visit in order to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

We look forward to seeing you in person soon!

Eleventh in an occasional series of Schwamb Shares. Today’s Schwamb Shares entry travels outside the mill building to explore some of the cultural life in the small emerging Crescent Hill neighborh…

Schwamb Shares #10 - Tin Pan Alley on the Mill's Third FloorHello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying well an...
07/31/2020
Tin Pan Alley on the Mill’s Third Floor

Schwamb Shares #10 - Tin Pan Alley on the Mill's Third Floor

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we explore just a few of the popular song lyric sheets pasted to the walls of the Mill's third floor work space. You can read the post (complete with links to the lyrics and select recordings) at https://bit.ly/30eiIKH

Good News! The Mill has been awarded a matching grant from Freedom's Way Heritage Association toward the filming of an online virtual tour of the Mill. This grant is aimed at enabling organizations to continue programming during Covid-19 conditions. Thanks to volunteer hours and two donations for the project, and the matching funds awarded, we will have a multi-segment online tour of the Mill available soon.

We hope that you are all enjoying your summer.

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

Tenth in an occasional series of Schwamb Shares As we write this in July 2020, the temperature is nearing 100 degrees outside and certainly is higher than that in the Mill. In the nineteenth centur…

Schwamb Shares #9What We Can Learn from the Mill's Accident Reports Hello Friends and Volunteers:We hope you are staying...
07/10/2020
Friends of the Mill

Schwamb Shares #9
What We Can Learn from the Mill's Accident Reports

Hello Friends and Volunteers:

We hope you are staying well and enjoying our occasional series of "Schwamb Shares." This week we are looking at the wealth of information about the workers from a century ago contained in the accident reports submitted from the Mill 1915 to 1930. You can read the post here: https://bit.ly/2ZZrsmD

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. Thank you to those who have responded! Please consider renewing as (or becoming) a Friend of the Mill this summer.

• Renew securely online with a credit card or
• Send a check (payable to Schwamb Mill Preservation Trust, Inc.) to Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, MA 01730. Details here: https://bit.ly/38UCspz

Stay healthy!

In 1970, the first year of the Old Schwamb Mill’s life as a living history museum, founding trustee Patricia Fitzmaurice encouraged supporters to become Friends of the Mill. In addition to mailed u…

06/27/2020
Old Schwamb Mill's 50th!

It's no secret that Arlington is steeped in rich American history. There is a historic building in town that was set to be demolished a half century ago. But because of the great work of some town visionaries and preservationists, the Old Schwamb Mill is now a living example of Arlington's past. Look back as news intern Anim Osmani from Arlington Community Media, Inc. reported in January on the Mill's 50th birthday! https://bit.ly/31nF7WI

It's no secret that Arlington is steeped in rich American history. There is a historic building in town that was set to be demolished a half century ago. But...

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 …

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.