The E&GG Hook and Hastings Organ

When Dick Pelland responded to our call to tune the organ we discovered in our "new" Church, he had no idea what he would find.  We had heard that it hadn't been played regularly -- if at all -- since the parish was closed in 2003.  What he discovered was an E&GG Hook and Hastings Pipe Organ, Opus 1053, built in 1881 for a church in Waterville, Maine and moved to St. Stanislaus.  He gave us good news about the organ in our choir loft:

"We are so happy to be entrusted with its care.  We have about 20 Hook instruments under our care and cherish all of them.  They are uniquely Boston in sound and can easily be picked out of a crowd.  Nothing else sounds like a Hook organ in any of company iterations, ie: E&GG Hook,  E&GG Hook and Hastings,  Hook and Hastings,  Hook-Hastings & Co. Their first instrument was made in 1834 and the firm built around 3000 organs over the next hundred years.

"The organ itself is in really good shape.  It needs cleaning,  some pipe repairs, thorough tuning and regulation.  This would be characterized as a major maintenance,  not a rebuild."

Here's a few demonstrations of the organ being played, courtesy of Dick Pelland

Here is some interesting information about the organ from a commemorative booklet of 1958 on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of St. Stanislaus parish.  Thanks to Richard Chonak for this summary:

  • An all-electric console was installed in 1950, replacing the previous tracker action; the decorative pipes were added then.


  • The electronic carillon was added in 1957 as a memorial of the parish's organist for 45 years, Mrs. Mary Tafe (d. 1957). 


  • An ad in the booklet indicates that the organ was serviced by Mr. Rostron Kershaw, an organ builder from Lowell: he presumably added the Mass carillon, and probably he did the 1950 rebuild.  He apprenticed under Skinner before WW2.

  • The church bells were mechanized to sound the Angelus automatically.