Founded more than 350 years ago, Arlington was originally a village within Cambridge, named Menotomy, an Algonquian word meaning "swift running water." Its first mill was built in 1637 by Captain George Cooke along the Mill Brook, where seven mills, including the Old Schwamb Mill, were erected.
On April 19, 1775, Paul Revere rode through Arlington, then Menotomy, on his way to Lexington and Concord, where minutemen from the surrounding communities ambushed the retreating British. The Jason Russell House Museum pays homage to those whose lives were lost in the battle.
In 1867, Arlington changed its name from West Cambridge to honor those buried at Arlington National cemetery.