Updated by James Scott, based on personal knowledge of the organ. --
Updated through online information from James Scott. -- History of the Organ (from an account published by the church)
The Peru Community church was built in 1910 as a Methodist Episcopal church. A small sum of money remaining after all expenses were paid was designated to be used toward the purchase of a pipe organ when additional funds could be obtained.
The Carl Barckhoff Organ Company was originally built in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by a group of German organ builders who emigrated to this country after the Civil War. It is not known if there was any connection between Carl Barckhoff and Andrew Carnegie, but Mr Carnegie offered the church $1,000.00 if the members would raise an equal sum to pay for the purchase. Consequently, the money was collected, the organ was shipped to Julian on the Missouri Pacific railroad, then transported to Peru on hayracks by members of the church, including Clay Kennedy's grandfather. The organ was completely installed by August 30, 1912 and dedicated September 1912, with the concert being given by a Chicago organist who had been sent by the Carl Barckhoff Company.
The organ was used for church services, community events, and instruction until around 1960. At that time, it was in such a state of disrepair that its use was abandoned.
Peru community Church began its efforts to restore the organ in August, 1990, under the direction of Richard Lorenzen, organ technician from Lincoln. We are very appreciative of all who gave their time, talent, and money. We are also very grateful to Richard Lorenzen for helping us keep the organ in tune and functional all these years.
NOTE: I spoke with Mr. Lorenzen about the condition of this organ and he described it as 100 percent restored.
Status Note: There 1996.
Restored by Richard Lorenzen, Lincoln, NE Tubular pedal.