The OHS Pipe Organ Database

St. John's Episcopal Church
101 Chapel Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

OHS Database ID 392.

See the address on Google Maps.


This organ received OHS Citation number 72, 1984-11-18.

Status and Condition

The organ has been renovated and is no longer in its original state.
The organ is in good condition and is used occasionally.
We received the most recent update on this organ's state and condition February 16, 2011.

Technical Details

Slider chests. Mechanical key action. Mechanical stop action.

One manual. 6 stops. 5 ranks.

This is a portable instrument and can be moved in its entirety.


  • Builder's Nameplate: Unknown English (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Status Note: There 1987. (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Thomas Brattle organ (by 1708). To Kings Chapel, Boston 1728. To St. Paul Episcopal, Newburyport, MA in 1756. Moved to St. John's Chapel on State Street in 1836 & rebuilt by R. P.Morss (or Calvin Edwards?). Moved to old St. John's (here) in 1920's. Rebuilt by Douglas Brown, of C. B. Fisk in 1965, 1-5. (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Updated through online information from Joseph Phillips. -- This organ, reported to be the oldest playable organ in the US was recently featured in a UNH Faculty concert held on February 6, 2011. It was also used during mass for the first few weeks of this year while our Letourneau Organ was out of commission. The sound from this "portable" instrument is still lovely and strong even though it has been some years since its last restoration. (Database Manager. February 16, 2011)

Online Documents

Currently we have no online documents associated with this organ entry. If you can provide us with digital files of contracts, correspondence, dedication programs, or any similar items, please follow this link to our document upload form to send them to us.

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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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Organ facade. Photograph by Tim Drewes 1983-10-14

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When they are available, stoplists for organs are included in the Database. To make corrections in stoplists that you see here, please send details via e-mail to rather than submitting a new stoplist through our online form.

  • Typed stoplist from the OHS PC Database.
    St. Johns's Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, NH
    c. 1665, Unknown English
    (Stoplist: SchnuteDB 1997; T 10:2:3)
    "Its exact age and builder are still matters of conjecture.  We do 
    know that it was in Boston by 1708 (probably earlier), at which time 
    it was the property of Thomas Brattle.  At his death in 1713 it 
    became the property of Queen's Chapel (now King's Chapel), and 
    remained there util 1756.
    Restored ca 1965 by C. B. Fisk.
    8' Stopt Diapason
    4' Principal
    2' Fifteenth Bass
    2' Fifteenth Treble
    II Sesquialtera Bass
    II Sesquialtera Treble
  • Click Here Typed stoplist from the OHS PC Database. Plain text; will open in a new window or tab.