The Organ of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco & Biddeford
On May 24, 1899, the Board of Trustees of the Second Parish Unitarian Church voted to repair the existing organ. This organ was located "in the back of the sanctuary", probably in the alcove, and was free standing.
On Jan 9, 1901, Reverend Skerrye told the Board of Trustees "we need a new organ". He stated that he felt it should be placed in the front of the sanctuary. He also expressed his belief that the cost (about $1200) could be raised by subscription. The Board appointed a committte to begin the process of raising the money.
April 23, 1901, the committee reported that they had promises of $1200. The board voted to "sell the old organ; purchase and place in the church a new organ and provide for an electric motor to blow the same, if the committee thinks best"; the price of the organ not to exceed $1200. They authorized the use of money raised from the sale of the old organ, $200 from the Estate of Sarah Bradbury and a note to the Estate of Sarah Bradbury if needed.
In the end they did borrow $388.63 from the Estate. So $1200, plus $200, plus $388.63 = $1788.63.
As far as can be determined they did not purchase the blower as the treasurer paid $30 for a young man to pump the bellows in 1902. (It doesn't seem like the building had electricity until the mid 1920s.) Also my mother's cousin used to be the kid who sat in the workings of the organ each Sunday breathing air into it. That would have been around 1920 or so.
E.W. Lane of the Waltham Organ Company was commissioned to build this tracker organ on May 20, 1901. It was finished on August 23, 1901.
These wonderful instruments are custom made, and the organist must be in tune (pardon the pun) with the instrument. Paul Benya has been our organist for nearly 25 years. Their duets are legend!
As reported by Archivist Anne Dobson, February 2011