South Congregational Church, U.C.C.
Amherst, Massachusetts

Casavant Frères, Limitée, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada Opus 74, 1896, 2 manuals, 16 ranks, Mechanical action throughout; Relocated from the Ste. Anne Arts and Cultural Center, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, through the beneficence of Mr. S. Parkman Shaw, Jr. of Brookline, Mass.
A new wind system was applied to this organ about 1940 by the Morel Brothers, also with some pipework and mechanical changes then. An Oboe rank has been replaced in the Récit division in the present restoration and relocation, also amending for minor errors in the original contract specifications of April 21, 1896.
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.

Simon Couture
Vice President
Casavant Frères 

This present Stoplist describes the instrument as it has been restored for
this installation at South Amherst Congregational Church.


I.GRAND ORGUE  4 stops  4 ranks58 notes (Unenclosed)
1Montre8'58pipesBasse en-façade of Main casework
3Dulciane8'46Basse transmisé from Mélodie
4Prestant4'58Basse en-façade of Main casework
II.RÉCIT8 stops  11 ranks58 notes (Expressive)
8Viox Céleste8'46From tenor C
9Flûte Harmonique4'58
11Mixture III2-2/3'174
13Hautbois8'46Basse transmisé from Gambe
III.PEDAL1 stop1 rank27 notes (Unenclosed)
16Grand Orgue à la Pédale
17Récit à la Pédale
18Récit au Grand Orgue
19Récit Octave Aigu au Grand Orgue
Pédale d’expression Récit
Jeux de Combinaisons Piano
Jeux de Combinaisons Mezzo Forte
Jeux de Combinaisons Forte

Casavant Frères, Opus 74 dans la Salle à Montage à Ste-Hyacinthe, 1896



The first steps involved replication in our shop of missing floor-frame parts.

Pedal Ventil Stop Action restoration, before and after.