75-year-old church organ needs some tender loving refurbishment

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Monona is raising funds to refurbish its 75-year-old organ. (Submitted photo)


As we age, a common complaint is “our parts are wearing out.” Well, this is what is happening to the organ at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Monona. Many of the problems come from the deterioration of the leathers, which basically make the organ work. It has needed some major refurbishing for a few years. A committee was formed to look at the many options and decided to hire Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, of Lake City, Iowa, to help restore this piece of history. The organ company wants to start this September, with work taking approximately four to six weeks, depending on what they find after dismantling the unit.


In 1937, at the annual meeting of St. Paul Lutheran, the members voted to replace an outdated, manual, two-reed organ. After five months of meetings and gathering enough funds, the church decided to purchase a Kimball pipe organ with approximately 750 pipes, 10 ranks and a set of chimes. The final cost was $4,705.34. After the dedication on June 27, 1937, which was during the depression, the committee still had $10.75 left in the special account for the organ. Replacing the instrument today would cost over $300,000. 


The congregation has started its fund raising for the organ refurbishment by sponsoring a breakfast event on Sunday, April 6. “Dad’s Belgium Waffles” will be served from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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