(Formerly The Sandwich Federated Church (1918-1965)
and The Calvinistic Congregational Society (1847-1918)
136 Main Street
Sandwich, Massachusetts 02657

Courtesy of Sarah E. Bach;  Sarah E. Bach

Photo credit: Sarah Bach

E. & G.G. Hook, Boston, Massachusetts, 1847
Purchased from the assignees of Simmons & Wilcox, Boston, Massachusetts, 1861
Reed stop replaced by Gamba early in 20th century.
Restored by Ray Douglas c. 1961
Restored by Andover Organ Company, Methuen, Massachusetts, 1984

Two manuals and pedal
Slider chests, Mechanical Key Action
Great: 58 notes, GGG, AAA - F3
Swell Treble: 35 notes, Tenor G-F3, enclosed
Swell Bass: 23 notes, GGG, AAA - F#, unenclosed
15 stops, 13 ranks

Organ Specifications

GREAT

8' Open Diapason
8' Dulciana (Tenor G)
8' Stopped Diapason Bass
8' Stopped Diapason Treble
4' Principal
2 2/3' Twelfth
2' Fifteenth
4' Flute
8' Cremona (Tenor C)

SWELL TREBLE

(enclosed)
8' Open Diapason
8' Stopped Diapason
4' Principal
8' Hautboy

SWELL BASS

(unenclosed)
8' Stopped Diapason

PEDAL

8' Sub Bass

Hitch down swell pedal
Forte and Piano Combination Pedals for the Great

COUPLERS

Swell to Great Coupler
Pedal Coupler (Great to Pedal)
Couple Pedals and Swell Bass
Blow Signal

The organ originally was placed in the chancel area and was eventually moved to the gallery in 1961 by Ray Douglas.



This rare survival of an early G compass organ was moved to Sandwich in 1861 by William B.D. Simmons of Boston. The organ stands in the rear gallery of the First Church of Christ (formerly The Calvinistic Congregational Church). The classic revival case of the organ is well suited to the building, which was also erected in 1847. No changes were made to the organ in 1861 except for the addition of the Swell Bass to Pedal Coupler. No further changes were made until about 1960, when repairs allowed the organ to be used again after years of neglect and some water damage.

The feeder bellows and pump were removed and an electric blower was installed in the basement. New ivory coverings were installed on the manual keys. The pipes of the original tenor G Cremona were removed and replaced by a Viol da Gamba, and the top five reed pipes of the Hautboy were replaced by flue pipes. Metal tuning slides were installed on the open metal pipes in the early 1960's.

The lowest eleven notes of the Great Open Diapason are grooved to the Stopped Diapason Bass. The 17 pipes in the facade are bass G through tenor B of the Open Diapason. These pipes are of common metal, and the original gold leaf was covered with paint many years ago. Both the Swell and Great Stopped Diapasons and the Great Flute are metal chimney flutes in the treble. The Sub Bass is open wood, the longest pipe being 10 2/3 foot G. The top six notes of the pedal repeat on the Sub Bass, playing the same pipes as the lowest five pedal keys. Except for two zinc replacements in the bass of the Great Principal, all metal pipes of the organ are common metal; lead with some tin and probably a bit of antimony.

The case is of pine and basswood, and was originally grain painted to imitate rosewood. Added layers of paint were a two-toned lavender, a gray, two layers of white or off-white, a layer of green, and a final layer of white. The corinthian capitals are molded of plaster, sawdust, and glue; the scrolls on the top of the case are cast iron, and the shades at the tops of the pipes are molded of zinc.

The panelled folding doors of the console reveal key frames of rosewood veneer and a fine mahogany music rack. The stop knobs are of rosewood with hand engraved ivory faces. The original nameplate is silver on copper. The pedal board is of black walnut, with narrow keys in the "toothpick" style.

The Great chest and pipes are immediately behind the facade. The small swell treble chest and pipes are over the rear of the Great. These pipes are enclosed in a small box with a single set of horizontal shades with leathered hinges on the front with removable access panels in the rear. The ventil chest for the swell bass is behind the Great. The Pedal pipes are on two chests located just inside the side panels of the organ. The original double fold reservoir with leather hinges occupies most of the interior floor space, and provides wind for the entire organ. The rear of the case is closed by removable wooden panels.

In 1971, the Andover Organ Company installed a Cremona from an early Brooklyn organ in the spot where the Viol da Gamba had replaced the original Cremona. Further restoration was needed at the time. Powder post beetles had been eating many of the wooden parts of the organ for years. Leakage from the tower had caused water damage. Leather and felt parts had deteriorated, and wood throughout the organ had warped and split.

The contract between the First Church of Christ of Sandwich and the Andover Organ Company of Lawrence for the complete restoration of the organ was signed in April of 1983. The organ was completely dismantled shortly after Easter of 1984, and all wooden parts were treated with methyl bromide gas to kill the powder post beetles. All the exposed wooden parts were finished to discourage the return of powder post beetles. A very few wooden parts of the organ were so weakened by the beetles that they had to be reproduced. The reservoir was completely releathered, and all wind chests were rebuilt. All moving parts were cleaned and refurbished, and new trackers of wood were made to match the originals. The pipes were cleaned, repaired, and adjusted for proper sound. Seven pipes, from tenor C to tenor F#, were added to the Cremona. New tuning slides were installed on all open metal pipes, and the pitch of the organ was lowered to be just slightly sharper than concert pitch.

~ Robert C. Newton
Director, Old Organ Department
Andover Organ Company

The dedication recital was performed by Barry Turley on Sunday, September 29, 1985 at 3:00 p.m.


Courtesy of Sarah E. Bach;  Sarah E. Bach Courtesy of Sarah E. Bach;  Sarah E. Bach Courtesy of Sarah E. Bach;  Sarah E. Bach


Source: First Church of Christ, Sandwich, Massachusetts
           Organ Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia
           Organs of the United States and Canada Database (OUSCDB), Seattle, Washington
           PHOTOS: Sarah Bach