The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1099

Builder Identification

Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, 1840-1866.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991, rev. ed., 1997, with added source). -

    Father of Joseph-Claver Jr. and Samuel-Marie Casavant; organbuilder in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, 1840-1866; succeeded by Eusèbe Brodeur.


    • Jeanne D-Aigle, L'histoire de Casavant Frères, 1880-1980 (Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada: Les Editions D-Aigle, 1988), 17.
    • Kallmann et al., "Joseph C. Casavant Sr." Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981), 711.
    • Twenty-Seventh Annual National Convention of the Organ Historical Society, Inc.: Pacific Northwest, 21-25 June 1982: Headquarters at Seattle Pacific University (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1982) 14.

  • From OHS Database Builders editor, Stephen Hall, June 25, 2016. -

    Joseph Casavant (born January 23, 1807, died March 9, 1874), was the first prominent Canadian-born organ builder. Casavant was a blacksmith who decided to study Latin at Father Charles-Joseph Ducharme's college in Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville. While there, he was intrigued by an unfinished organ imported from France. Abandoning his original course of study, he focused on completing the organ, which he managed to do by using L'Art du facteur d'orgues (Paris 1766-78), the classic treatise by Dom François Bédos de Celles.

    Word of his accomplishment spread, and the authorities at Saint-Martin-de-Laval ordered an organ from him. At this point, Casavant dedicated himself to his new trade, continuing to build organs until he retired in 1866, having completed 17 new organs. He turned the shop over to his former apprentice, Eusèbe Brodeur. It was Brodeur who would give initial instruction in organ building to the Joseph Casavant's two sons before they embarked on their long study of continental organs in Europe. The two brothers would establish the firm that still bears their name.


    • Antoine Bouchard, "Casavant Frères" in The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada, article published January 17, 2007, last edited March 4, 2015,

Database Entries

There are 2 entries in the database that describe organs by Joseph C. Casavant Sr.

We are always interested in adding to our information about builders and correcting any errors that our Database may contain. If you can provide us with corrections or additions to the information presented here, please click the Update button and use the online form to send us details.

Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated.


OHS Logo

This page was opened in a secondary window or tab. To return to the list of builders, simply close this tab.

At present we have no photographs that should be displayed on this page, though we may well have photographs under a related entry with a different form of the name. We would very much like to have photographs of all builders, nameplates, and other appropriate images in our database. If you can assist us with this project, please send a message to Our photo editor will be happy to assist you.