Oak Ridge, Tennessee
The new organ at Kern Memorial United Methodist was built originally as a 14 stop instrument by Carl Barckhoff about 1893 for the First Reformed Church of New Paltz, New York, a Huegenot congregation. It was moved to St. Paul’s Lutheran of Kingston, NY about 1928, and suffered considerable damage at the hands of less than competent workers.
Much of the case was lost, in particular the carved and ornamental parts, and the casework above the impost was reduced to only a pipe fence.
In spite of the less than respectful treatment of the organ, it continued to function, and was still somewhat playable when we evaluated it in 2004. It was clear at that time that the instrument was a good solid prospect for a rebuild, and we recommended that Kern obtain the Barckhoff.
Dr. Steven and Vicki Bradford had purchased the former St. Paul’s church after it closed in 1999, and were converting it into a residence; their only wish was that the instrument not be lost to posterity, and they thus donated it to Kern Memorial Church. B. Rule and Company, with the help of a large party of church volunteers, removed the instrument, dead bats and all, in June of 2004.
The final disposition of the instrument came to a remarkable 25 stops, which represented nearly the maximum enlargement practicable for a 14 stop instrument. The key action is light and responsive, and the tonal appointments of the instrument work well in the sanctuary at Kern. The lower casework is nearly all original, though reconfigured.
The upper casework is new. The pipe stencilling follows the original Barckhoff patterns, and was executed by two men in the church: Joe Parks and Norm Smyrl.
|8||Open Diapason||16||Bourdon TC|
|2 2/3||Twelfth||4||Flute Harmonic|
|1 3/5||Tierce||Mixture III|
|16||Subbass||3 normal couplers|
|8||Principal||2 combination pedals|
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