In a hollow on the Mill Brook 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 the most recent 137 years. If you would like to begin with an artistic view of the site, then click here and see some fine sketches by John Harvey. Click UPCOMING EVENTS to learn about coming special exhibits or other activities.
THE OVAL FRAMES
Today The Old Schwamb Mill continues to produce museum quality hand turned wooden oval and circular frames. See an interesting variety of frames and profile styles that have been produced since the Schwambs first began operations here in 1864. See the production of a frame and hear what the woodworker, who makes the frames, has to say about his work. Learn how the lathes work. Click here or on the title above for more information.
TAKE A TOUR
Take a virtual walk through the Mill or around the surrounding grounds. Come watch a frame being made or just watch and listen to the brook running past the Mill. Click here or on the title above for more information.
RESEARCH AND HISTORY
Discover the history of The Old Schwamb Mill. Learn about the beginnings of the community along the brook and how Charles Schwamb purchased the Woodbridge Spice Mill and converted it for woodworking purposes, building a successful family-owned business here that continued for 105 years. Learn how the Mill has survived since 1969, operated as a mill-museum by an all-volunteer nonprofit charitable educational trust. Browse through a series of articles published about the Mill. Click here or on the title above for more information.
The Old Schwamb Mill is structurally sound, but an old building and its machinery need special, sustained care to insure their continuation as an educational resource.
FRIENDS OF THE MILL
The Mill is preserved today only because of the generous financial support and donated goods and services from hundreds of Friends of The Old Schwamb Mill, with major support from federal, state, and foundation grants. Find out what you can do to help the Mill and become a Friend of the Old Schwamb Mill. Click here or on the title above for more information.The Mill is preserved today only because of the generous financial support and donated goods and services from hundreds of Friends of the Old Schwamb Mill. Their gifts, grants, and contributions enabled the four visionary Founding Trustees of the Mill in 1969 to acquire and stabilize the structures and find appropriate adaptive uses for the historic buildings. They kept the Mill alive on the landscape as a unique educational resource. Click here or on the title above for more information.
VISIT THE MILL
Visitors to the Mill are cordially welcomed. The Mill is located on the Revolutionary Battle Route to Lexington and Concord, 17 Mill Lane at 29 Lowell Street, off 1215 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington, Massachusetts. The three Mill buildings, including the woodworking shop, are open to the public on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P. M. Machinery demonstrations are given in the woodworking shop. Please call ahead at 781-643-0554. Click here or on the title above for more information.
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