The OHS Pipe Organ Database

St. Bernard R.C. Church
Keene, New Hampshire 03431

OHS Database ID 50702.

Status and Condition

The organ is no longer at this location, and is presumed destroyed, dispersed or relocated.
We received the most recent update on this organ's state and condition December 17, 2012.

Technical Details

Slider chests. Mechanical key action. Mechanical stop action.

Two manuals. 12 stops. 14 ranks.


  • Identified through online information from Michael Peter McCarthy. -- I was organist at St. Bernard's in the late 9070's while a student at nearby Keene State College. My only experience with this instrument came after the Wessell tonal revisions that had taken place earlier in the decade. While it had the nameplate "M. Steinert" on the console, it seemed that many people in the parish knew it had actually been built by Cole & Woodberry.

    It had a very large Open Diapason on the Great, which practically overpowered much of the rest of the organ. I do not know what may have been there originally, but Wessell left only an 8' Dulciana in the Great. I recall often wishing for an 8' foundation stop that could hold it's own with the rest of the division.

    The best part of the instrument was the Swell division. Some of the individual stops on the Swell were extremely beautiful, particularly the Stopped Diapason and the strings (including the Celeste). It was almost as if each had a distinct "personality." I believe that the the few years I spent with this instrument provided me with tremendous growth in my understanding both of the subtleties of organ registration plus what one can really do with an instrument of ostensibly limited size and scope. While there was a 2 2/3 flute, there was no reed and I could never determine whether there had been a Hautboy or something similar that Wessell had removed or not.

    One thing of odd interest; I was told by a previous organist that the swell shades had originally been ON THE TOP of the swell box, which caused dirt and dust to fall into the pipes with the expected tuning problems, etc. This was remediated in the early '70s rebuild.

    This instrument was taken out in the year 2000 and replaced with a digital electronic. To the best of my knowledge, it was sold to the Organ Clearing House. I can only hope that those beautiful stops on the Swell division are being heard someplace else. (Database Manager. December 17, 2012)

Online Documents

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Related Database Entries

As a matter of best practice, we maintain separate entries each time an organ is modified or relocated. Click a link to go to descriptions of other phases in this instrument's life.

Other Websites

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Church Exterior. Vintage Postcard, courtesy of T. Bradford Willis, DDS (1910s)

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