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Rare pipe organ may be dismantled for parts
Mason City Globe-Gazette ^ | March 13, 2012 | DEB NICKLAY

Posted on 03/18/2012 5:44:57 PM PDT by iowamark

A rare pipe organ, manufactured in Mason City over 100 years ago, may soon have its “glorious sound” forever silenced.

An effort conducted over the past two years to sell the instrument — the price today is $1 — has failed, said the Rev. Martha Rogers of Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids, where the organ is housed.

“We certainly want to see it preserved,” Rogers said. “It’s playable; it’s been maintained.

“But unless someone comes forward in the next couple of weeks or so, the organ will be dismantled and sold for parts.”

The instrument is only one of three Verney organs known to exist, and the largest, according to Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Inc., records.

It was built for the Parkersburg United Methodist Church in 1904 and then sold to the Cedar Rapids church in 1993.

In 2010, the church began to actively raise awareness of its need to move the organ. The church is conducting a remodeling of its worship area, which includes making the space accessible to the disabled, Rogers said.

“It is like the domino effect; one thing has to happen before the next can occur,” she said. The church has purchased a digital organ that better fits the size and needs of the congregation.

Rogers said the organ’s size may very well be its enemy.

The pipes vault 26 feet into the air — and that limits its relocation, Rogers said.

Cyndy Johnson of Thompson, dean of the American Guild of Organists, North Iowa Chapter, agreed its size does not make it attractive to some.

Still, she said, it should be preserved.

The guild tried to canvass the North Iowa area for an organization to take the organ, but “no one seemed interested,” she said.

It would be tragic to see the instrument destroyed, she said.

“It has historical value; and it has value for its technology,” she said.

She said W. C. Verney was known for his experimentation with pneumatics. Some of his pneumatic creations were shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Verney — whose company only stayed in Mason City for about 10 years — received a patent on his pneumatic system for organs, called the Verney Individual Valve System. He created the organ as a bridge between the mechanical instruments of the past and the pneumatic-play organs, which were just starting to be created.

The other two Verney organs are located in Terre Haute, Ind., built in 1905 for the Allen Chapel AME Church, where it still resides; and at Highland, Wis.

One Cedar Rapids church member, Rachel Mills, said in 2010 that the organ “is perfectly playable and has a glorious sound.”

Rogers said church members would be more than happy to store the instrument for a time if it was guaranteed that someone would purchase and move it within the upcoming months.

For more information, contact the church by calling 319-363-2029, or by email:

TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment; Religion
KEYWORDS: cedarrapids; godsgravesglyphs; iowa; pipeorgan
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To: iowamark

>> the modern Episcopal Church is not much interested in tradition.

What the hey; they’ve already dumped the theology, big deal on the hardware. /s

21 posted on 03/18/2012 7:36:27 PM PDT by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

I will are pipes brass?

22 posted on 03/18/2012 8:13:27 PM PDT by KingNo155
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To: iowamark

OMG that instrument is beautiful! Our church paid more than $100,000 for a new organ half that size. That is, a parishioner donated that money in memory of his late wife, a former organist.

23 posted on 03/18/2012 8:19:55 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Fiji Hill

The Methodist Episcopal Church; (not part of the Church of England, called “The Episcopal Church” in the US), was one of the several Methodist churches that merged to form the United Methodist Church in 1967.

24 posted on 03/18/2012 8:24:28 PM PDT by iowamark (The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves)
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To: iowamark

Hmmmm...I just could know someone who would want that...

25 posted on 03/18/2012 8:36:01 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (Without virtue, happiness cannot be. -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: iowamark; nickcarraway

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks iowamark.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

26 posted on 03/19/2012 4:59:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: iowamark

“Rev. Martha Rogers”


27 posted on 03/20/2012 4:53:26 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: iowamark

Maybe I could install this in my house and start playing it at 3 Am when my neighbors are partying on their deck.

28 posted on 03/20/2012 5:30:17 AM PDT by Hacksaw (It's too bad Rick had to kill Shane (Walking Dead))
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To: bigbob—Rare-Pipe-Organ-3rd-Ld-Writethru
“A rare pipe organ built in Mason City more than a century ago that was headed for the scrap heap for parts has been saved.

The organ, with pipes that soar 26 feet high, has been purchased by a performing arts school in Illinois, the Globe Gazette reported Thursday.

The organ, built by the Verney Organ Co., will be moved to Dixon, Ill, where it will be installed in Philander Hall, one of the performance venues operated by the VIVA! Performing Arts School... “

29 posted on 04/14/2012 6:24:08 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

I think they should just have a tape recording of organ music

30 posted on 10/08/2012 11:34:16 AM PDT by BaronVS
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