Take a Trip Through History in Arlington

If you enjoy visiting historical places, you will find that there are many great places worthy of exploration in Arlington. Here is a look at just a few.

Old Schwamb Mill

Founded by the Schwambs, who immigrated to the United States from Germany, Old Schwamb Mill is the oldest, continuously-operating mill site in the country. Operated by a nonprofit educational trust, the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Today, the museum continues to produce and sell museum-quality, hand-turned wooden circular and elliptical frames that are similar to those the mill has been producing since 1864. The mill is located at 17 Mill Lane on the south side of Mill Brook.

The Jason Russell House

The site of the bloodiest fight on the first day of the American Revolutionary War, the Jason Russell House is now home to a museum that displays everything from a mastodon tusk discovered in Spy Pond in the 1950s to furnishings of the Russell family dating back to the 1800s. Purchased by the Arlington Historical Society in 1923, the house was fully restored in 1926. The infamous Revolutionary War battle, which took place on April 19, 1775, left behind blood stains and bullet holes in the home that can still be seen today.

The House at 5 Willow Court

Added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 18, 1985, the House at 5 Willow Court is a rare local example of Second Empire styling. Originally located on Massachusetts Avenue, the home was moved to its present location as the original location underwent more commercial development. The home is characterized by a mansard roof and windows that are topped by eared surrounds. The roof, which is flared at the base, is pierced by gabled dormers.

The Henry Swan House

Built in 1888, the Henry Swan House is a 2.5 story wood frame home built by its namesake. A local poultry dealer, Henry Swan was also quite active in local politics. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, the Henry Swan House is a well-preserved example of the late Victorian style. The style of the home, which is located at 418 Massachusetts Avenue, was once far more common in the area.

Arlington Center Historic District

Some of Arlington’s historic buildings can be found in the Arlington Center Historic District. The district itself, which includes the civic and commercial heart of the city, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The district runs along the towns main commercial district of Massachusetts Avenue from Jason Street to Franklin Street. The adjacent 19th– and early 20th-century residential areas bounded by Gray Street, Jason Street and Pleasant Street are also included as part of the district.

In addition to being home to the Jason Russell House, the Arlington Center Historic District also features the town’s Old Burying Ground on Pleasant Street. The oldest marked grave within the Old Burying Ground dates back to 1735. Most of the civic, commercial and religions buildings within the district were build in the later 19th century. These include the Robbins Memorial Town Hall, the Robbins Memorial Library and the Central Fire Station.

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