South Congregational Church, U.C.C.
A Letter from the Vice President of Casavant Frères
I was just thrilled when my good friend Bill Czelusniak informed me that he had found a new home for our Opus 74.
Opus 74 is the oldest surviving Casavant organ in the United States. While it has some “cousins” in its native Quebec, this instrument represents a rare example of mechanical action organs built during the Casavant brothers’ directorship.
This was the 74th commission for a new organ received by Casavant. The original contract was signed on April 22, 1896, by Fr. Napoléon Leclerc, priest-in charge of the Paroisse Sainte-Anne in Woonsocket, RI. The price of the organ, which has 14 stops on two manuals and pedal, was $2,150. It was completed in the church before Christmas 1896. Its current replacement value would be approximately $450,000.
The organ was installed at the Paroisse Sainte-Anne in Woonsocket, RI. The tonal finishing on site was directed by Claver Casavant. Interestingly, the feeder for the large bellows was activated by a hydraulic motor (un moteur hydraulique agissant sur les pompes du soufflet).
The organ was moved to Notre-Dame des Victoires Church in Woonsocket in 1918. It stayed there until 2000, at which time it was returned to its original home, now the St. Ann’s Arts and Cultural Center with the intent of restoring it, which never materialized.
It is humbling to see this 115-year old pipe organ will continue to lead and inspire worship for decades to come. On behalf of all my colleagues at Casavant, I want to express our sincere appreciation to South Congregational Church for providing a new home to this historically significant Casavant organ. I want to convey heartfelt thanks to our colleagues at Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal for the respectful and careful restoration they just completed. It is our hope this instrument will not only serve this congregation but also will become a tool for outreach to the entire Amherst community.
This present Stoplist describes the instrument as it has been restored for
Casavant Frères, Opus 74 dans la Salle à Montage à Ste-Hyacinthe, 1896
PROGRESS OF THE RESTORATION
The first steps involved replication in our shop of missing floor-frame parts.
Pedal Ventil Stop Action restoration, before and after.
© 2007-2012 Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal, Inc.