Restoration of the Historic
& G.G. Hook Organ

page 5

The Final Phase

With completion of the project now expected in April, the focus of the project has returned to Salem.  Many of the restored components of the organ are already stored in the church and the builders are making frequent visits to Salem to work on reassembling the complex instrument.

  Click on thumbnails below to view a larger picture.

The windchests of the swell and great divisions were reinstalled in January,
together with the rollerboards and the trackers that connect them.

  The key desk, with wood and keys cleaned and polished and stop boards freshly veneered,
returned in February. New trackers (right) connect the keys to the rollerboards.


Trays of restored pipes await installation. 

New lighting has been installed inside the case.

The first pipes have been installed in the swell chest.

The first full rank of pipes was installed in the Swell division in February, making the organ playable
for the first time in months.  David Moore gave a demonstration.                                                         
     The tops of damaged metal                             John Atwood installing new     
pipes have been restored.                                trackers                               

Our organ is many things.  It is a splendid musical instrument and has been an integral part of the worship of our parish for over a hundred years.  It is an historic instrument, an outstanding representative of the work of its makers.  It is also an historical document, recording in unexpected places the unique contributions of particular people.  While waiting to pump wind into the instrument, Guy Thomas carved his name into the case (left) as an everlasting remembrance of his service.  It was fortunate that firemen were able to keep the fire from reaching the organ on February 11, 1912.  However, smoke and perhaps water damage would have been unavoidable.  Why was John Lawler of Albany, New York, inside the swell division, where he signed his name in pencil on August 5, 1912?  Could he have been cleaning the organ in the aftermath of the fire?

By the end of February, the        instrument was really beginning
 to look like an organ again, with the return of some of the freshly painted facade pipes.                  

Reinstalled facade pipes

Reinstalled facade pipes
seen from the rear          

View through the great division to the swell
 division, from the front of the organ             
Pipes in the swell division

For two days a week, from the middle of February through March, the nave of St. Paul's Church was given over entirely to work on the organ.  Substantial progress is visible and audible with every visit of David Moore and company.  Early in March, the facade pipes in the central tower were installed.


Also in March, work began on the stop action.  The stop pulls which allow the organist to choose which sets of pipes will play in the swell division were the first to be reinstalled on the left side of the key desk.

The swell division is towards the back of the organ, so each knob for this division controls a very long wooden rod running directly back from the key desk.  The sliders which open  the wind channel to the desired set of pipes run perpendicular to the stop pulls, so a series of levers connect the stop pull to     
the slider to open and close it.                                                                                                                    

Stop knobs for the swell

Stop pulls connecting to lever system beneath the wind chest.                      

Lever system


Initial tuning of the organ is being done as the pipes are being installed.  The Hook brothers had to depend on their ears, but modern technology provides more precise means of tuning the instrument.  With many of the metal pipes, David Moore is using a technique known as cone tuning.


Some of the tools used in the tuning process.

David and John are both accomplished organists in their own right.  The occasional impromptu "concert" demonstrates progress to date and is also a welcome break from the more technical aspects of work on a great musical instrument. 

Decorative carving completes the facade of the portable organ that David Moore loaned to St. Paul's during the restoration project.  The beautifully crafted three stop instrument has served the parish well during this time and will soon go to a new home.

Once the switch to the blower was moved, the painting of the console could be completed. A new kickboard will be installed behind the pedal board to replace the original which had been mutilated when various changes were made to the swell pedal and combination action.

Although most of the pipes were taken to David Moore's shop in Vermont for restoration work, some of the larger wooden pipes were left in Salem and restoration work on them is being done on site.


Most of the pipes in the great division have now been installed.  Only the trumpet remained to be installed as of the end of March.  Work on the organ was substantially complete in time for its debut on Easter morning, April 16th.


By Whitsunday, the last adjustments had been made and every stop was tuned, ready for the rededication and blessing of the instrument.


David Moore prepared this display about the restoration project.  Click on the photos for a larger view.

Restoration of the Organ
Page 4    

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