Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

S. S. Hamill (1874)

Location:

East Canaan Congregational Church
East Canaan, CT US
Organ ID: 68216

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Congregational Church
  • The organ is no longer a complete instrument; dispersed/parted out.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Scot Huntington on April 29, 2021.

Technical Details:

  • 6 ranks.
Scot Huntington on April 29, 2021:

The provenance of this organ was confirmed by OHS member Richard Hamar who once serviced the instrument. It was a one-manual Hamill "Giant Organ", installed in 1874. These organs were known for their low price, large scales, and surprisingly powerful voicing from an economy of ranks. The church history states the organ was fitted with a new electric blower in 1929 for a cost of $165.65; removed by Richard Geddes in 1958 when it was replaced by a 3-rank Wicks unit organ inside the historic case; and the windchest and chassis became the voicing machine for Geddes' organ service company in Winsted, Conn. until his retirement in the 1990s, at which time the organ's remains was presumably discarded. The Hamill pipework found its way into various unidentified organ rebuilds by Geddes in the 1960s.

The congregation formed in the mid-1700s and the present elegant meetinghouse was built in 1822 in the town then known as North Canaan. In the early 1870s, the town subdivided into sections known as North, South and East, and the church was now in the tract renamed East Canaan. The congregation subsequently changed its name from North Canaan Congregational to East. The congregation spun off part of its congregation in the early 1890s to North Canaan as the Pilgrim Congregational Church, fitted with Johnson & Son Op. 756, 1891. The congregations united under a single pastor in the 1950s, but maintained separate buildings and congregations. In 1980 the congregations remerged into a single entity, the Pilgrim church and its Johnson organ were sold, and the East Canaan Congregational Church changed its name back to North Canaan Congregational.

The Hamill case is extant as is the exquisite original facade stenciling.

We received the most recent update for this note from Scot Huntington on April 29, 2021.

Instrument Images:

Extant Hamill case from 1874: Photograph from an archival source: Church website, submitted by Scot Huntington. Taken approx. 2019

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