Pipe Organ

The Organ was built by Reuben Midmer & Son of Brooklyn, NY, about the year 1885, for Grace Episcopal Church, Stamford, NY.  Mr. Midmer came from England and founded his firm in 1860.  The company built the world-famous seven-manual organ at the Atlantic City Convention Hall.  The small Stamford church closed in 1978 when the congregation merged with St. Peter’s Church in Hobart, NY.

The Midmer & Son one-manual five-rank instrument had become unplayable because of rodent damage and water damage to an aged electric blower.  The instrument was removed by Alan Laufman, director of the Organ Clearing House, Harrisville, NH, and organization which has relocated hundreds of old North American Tracker action pipe organs.

During 1979, more than 1600 parts of the instrument were cleaned and refurbished by Edgar Boadway and volunteers from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and the community of Claremont, NH.  Almost all the leather and felt was replaced and the oak case stripped.  Several new hardwood parts were made, and a new blower was acquired.  The organ can be hand-pumped if desired.

The congregation of Christ Lutheran Church purchased and moved the organ to Jeremy Cooper’s organ shop in Epsom, NH in 1985.  Mr. Cooper did custodial maintenance and then added 14 pipes to complete the Pedal Bourdon.  This included additional tracker-action and additions to the windchest.  The organ was installed in West Boylston, MA by Cooper assisted by members of the congregation on July 17, 1985.

The Organ

Manual – CC-a3, 58 notes
Open Diapason – 8’ (e0)
Stopped Diapason – 8’ treble  (e0)
Stopped Diapason – 8’ bass
Octave – 4’
Fifteenth – 2’
Quint – (C: 1 1/3’ c2: 2 2/3’)
Pedal – CCC-D, 27 notes
Bourdon – 16’
Manual to Pedal

The new Quint stop contains used Moller pipework that were a good match for the Midmer pipes.  All the metal pipes in the organ are spotted metal.  Tonal changes happened during the 1999 installation (Turners Falls, MA). The Open Diapason 8’ was moved upward to become an Octave 4’.  Twelve new pipes were added to complete the top octave. A new rackboard was added.  The Dulciana 8’ was cut down into a Fifteenth 2’, with new pipes added to complete the treble.  It was placed on a new toeboard with a double draw system, with holes drilled for the future addition of new I / II ranks Mixture.  The Stopped Diapason 8’ was divided between tenor d# and e instead of at tenor c.  The Violina 4’ was rescaled four half tones up into a small Open Diapason 8’, starting at tenor e.  It was placed on the Dulciana toeboard.  There were no stop labels for the Octave 4’ and Fifteenth 2’.  Changes that we made in 2018 (Lubbert Gnodde): Open Diapason 8’ and Octave 4’ were switched back.  Five zinc pipes were replaced with spotted metal pipes (Moller).  A new rackboard was added for Octave 4’.  A new stop action was added for the new Quint stop.  The double draw was disconnected.  The new Quint with matching spotted metal pipes from the Moller organ from Syracuse, NY.  is a composition of  1  1 / 3’ at low C, 2  2 / 3’ at c2.  Three new engraved stop labels were made for the Fifteenth 2’,  Octave 4’ and Quint.

Our Midmer & Son Pipe Organ is dedicated to St. Cecelia, the patron saint of music and the namesake of the St. Joseph’s Church Choir.

The moving of this organ from St. Andrews Church in Turners Falls, MA and the many hours of cleaning and refurbishing of this instrument is dedicated in memory of Edgar A. Boardway, Jr. who, along with the Organ Clearing House brought this pipe organ in 1980 to the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in West Claremont, NH.  The “Midmer” has now returned to Claremont here at St. Joseph’s Church.

The new organ stop, installed by organ builder Lubbert Gnodde, labeled “QUINT” was made possible through the most gracious and generous gift of the Stringer Funeral Home and parishioners Mr. & Mrs. Richard Brown.  This new stop is dedicated in loving memory to our former pastors, Fr. Stanley Piwowar and Fr. George Majka.

Those who donated time, talent, and treasure

Lubbert Gnodde
A David Moore
John Atwood
Scot Huntington
Pagan Kennedy
Stephen Pinel
David Smith
Richard & Mary Brown
J Green
Peter Marek
Michael Stringer and the Stringer Funeral Home
Organ Builder
Organ Builder
Organ Builder
Organ Builder and Research
Pipe Organ Donor
Archivist Emeritus – Organ Historical Society