The Mystery Organ

We’ve had many people ask over the years about the organ in the building. We actually have two organs, the big old one and there is a smaller electric plug in one without any pipes. Oh and our oldest son has an electric one in his bedroom. Doesn’t every pre teen boy ask for an organ for Christmas or is it just ours? Haha! It is pretty awesome to walk into the living room and have it sound like church coming from his bedroom!

This post will be a bunch of photos of the main organ that is of interest to so many and while we don’t know much about it, I’ll do my best to explain what we do know.

The bad part about the whole organ is that it is not functioning. The power had been cut to it who knows how long ago & it’s somewhere in the walls. Atom tested the electrical and everything to it has no power.

The organ is situated at the back on the mezzanine up on the third floor former grand meeting room.

Here’s what it looks like up close.

There are no identifying markers on the organ itself which is a bummer. There is this little plastic piece that had fallen off the front of it. What we found peculiar is that this piece had been turned around and nailed into place and painted over the same color as the rest of it. I did a quick google search and found a newspaper mention of him in 1919. If the organ was rebuilt by Louis in the early 1900s it makes us wonder just how old the organ really is!

This cute little light on the wall next to the organ makes me smile.

Behind this wall is the room full of the pipes. It’s a pretty camped space but it’s huge and there are so many pipes in there!

It is really hard to get good photos of the pipe room because there are so many but here are a bunch that I was able to take.

The blower is really neat (and really big!) and sits in a room next to the pipe room. There is also no power going to the blower itself, when though there is power to the lights. Go figure. Here are a bunch of photos of the blower and the motor that used to power this beast. Check out the dates!

The way things look now I’m actually relieved because I’m sure the electrical would need to be completely replaced to make it safe by todays standards to turn on.

Someday we will get it working!

Oh! And here’s a photo of the other organ (that’s electric) in another room on the third floor.

Go make some music today friends!

12 thoughts on “The Mystery Organ

  1. The Organ Clearing House – if still extant – might be interested in removing the entire organ apparatus, says a former church organist and conductor! (And an inactive Mason!) In Masonic rituals there is some singing and some occasions for music while movement goes on. Almost all of these old Masonic Temples had organs, whether all-electric or with pipes. You two have enormous patience and fortitude. I’m enjoying following your progress. I don’t know if there is one extant or nearby, but there are Masonic organizations for young people (Google Jacques DeMolay) and yours might be interested as a way to link even more with the house they may someday inherit. L’chayim!

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  2. You might talk to this group about refurbishing the organ? Repair fb page I would look here

    Repair group

    Pipe Organ Tuners I would think this page could really help you out

    Good Luck hope some of these pages and people can help you with your organ. 

    LOVE this place you call home  Oh the LIBRARY!!!!  WOW!!!!!


    Character is how you act when no one is watching.

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  3. The University of Oklahoma College of Music had an organ restoration/builder program. It recently lost funding but perhaps the college knows of graduates that could help you restore it when you get to that step. I love seeing your pictures and restoration progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your article was forwarded to me by my friend Carol Routh, and my partner is posting this on my behalf as your system doesn’t seem to like my email address!

    I am an organ builder based in Mosier, Oregon and have been building and restoring organs for 46 years — and am about to retire! Here’s what I could glean from your pictures.

    From looking at the pictures en learning about certain dates, it seems that this organ was moved from another location. Originally with a playing mechanism called “tubular pneumatic” and in 1919 changed to an “electro-pneumatic” system. The gold painted pipes were the front display pipes in its previous location. In those days of quick changes in technology, re-buildings of pipe organs followed each other in unusually quick succession, especially when electricity came into the picture. Electricity allowed for the console to be remote from the organ itself, which many thought was a plus. The original builder? Not sure, but Estey or Wicks come to mind.

    Frans Bosman

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  5. I think this is amazing! What’s really cool is that the plaque stating Fort Wayne as the rebuilder location brought up a memory! My grandfather and his family lived on a farm in Bluffton. My great uncle Jimmy would ride his cart and horse into Fort Wayne to work at the piano and organ factory on Fairfield Ave. It isnt there anymore but my grandfather, who is going to be 98 in December, remembers vividly and I love that you have a piece of history such as that ♡

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  6. Ohhh, look at all those pipes. Hey, if you want to sell them – they don’t make this parts anymore – lots of guys who rebuild would like to take those off your hands. Probably a nice piece of change if you don’t want to do the rebuild. We have a 1850-something pump organ I really had to look for one with no tears in the canvas that collects the air. Littles enjoys playing our Baldwin Cinima II, though not the pedals – but the keys are fun (a fun free craigslist item. The woman who played it at the church passed and so no one knew how to play it. We have a tall dome, so it sounds cool). That is a big project. You could probably call around to the churches and find someone local to give you an estimate. Finding someone who wants to invest in learning how to play is something else. Probably some pipe organ music books online, though this is not standard. Always something wonderful going on at your manse.

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