Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Henry (Heinrich) F. Berger (1855)

Location:

The Fork Church of St Martin's Parish
12566 Old Ridge Road
Doswell, VA 23047 US
Organ ID: 3366

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Episcopal and Anglican Churches
  • The organ has been restored to a previous state.
  • The organ's condition is good, in regular use.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from The Rev'd K. Nicholas Forti on February 04, 2021.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Slider
  • 5 ranks. 1 manuals. 5 stops.
All:
  • Chest Type(s): Slider chests
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Main:
  • Manuals: 1
  • Stops: 5
  • Position: Keydesk attached, manuals set into case.
  • Key Action: Mechanical connection from key to chest (tracker, sticker or mix).
  • Stop Action: Mechanical connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with hinged doors that enclose keyboards.
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Jim Stettner on March 11, 2021:

Notes from the parish website: The Parish History Notes 31: The Berger Organ Henry F. Berger was born near Toulouse, France, in 1819 and learned the skills of organ building from his father. He came to this country in 1849. He made church organs and other musical instruments in Baltimore, Md., and later in York, Pa., until fire destroyed his factory and three finished organs on March 10, 1861. In September 1855 he completed the organ that inspires us at Fork Church to this day. There is only one other Berger organ known to exist.

In the Winter1964 issue of The Tracker, the publication of the Organ Historical Society, Cleveland Fisher describes our instrument and provides clues to its origin. It appears that the organ was previously owned and used by St. George’s Church, Fredericksburg, and in 1874 their vestry decided to replace it. The first reference to it at Fork Church is in the diary of Ruth Page of Oakland. Her earliest recollection of the organ was 1882, when she and her parents returned from China. Repairs were needed at that time, and a fair was held at the church in 1888 to raise funds for its renovation.

A number of repair dates are noted on the organ, including 1876, 1895, 1902 and 1912. In 1963 it was reconditioned and an electric blower was added. Until then, the organ had to be pumped by hand. The most recent renovation of this historically significant asset was by the Rappahannock Pipe Organ Company in April 2003.

We received the most recent update for this note from Jim Stettner on March 11, 2021.

Database Manager on January 27, 2007:

Updated through on-line information from Barbara Owen. -- Restored 2004 by Rappahannock Organ Co., Village, Virginia

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on October 30, 2004:

Status Note: There 1963

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on October 30, 2004:

Acquired by this congregation c. 1880 (possibly from St. George's Episcopal, Fredericksburg, VA, who agreed to dispose of their organ in 1874). Restored by Cleveland Fisher c. 1963. Open Diapson pipes replaced with modern pipes.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.
Source not recorded: Open In New Tab Typed stoplist from the OHS PC Database.
We received the most recent update for this stoplist from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Instrument Images:

Organ Case: Photograph in the OHS Library and Archives collection; image courtesy of Bynum Petty.

Building Exterior: Photograph in the OHS Library and Archives collection; image courtesy of Bynum Petty.

Organ case and keydesk: Photograph by The Rev'd K. Nicholas Forti. Taken approx. 2019

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