Wm. Johnson & Son (Opus 796, 1893)


First Congregational Church
97 North Main Street
Kent, CT US
Organ ID: 66887

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Congregational Church
  • The organ has been relocated.
  • The organ's condition is good, in regular use.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Scot Huntington on December 11, 2020.

Technical Details:

  • 8 ranks. 409 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 8 stops.
  • Built by Wm. Johnson & Son
  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Stops: 8
  • Position: Keydesk attached.
  • Manual Compass: 58
  • Pedal Compass: 27
  • 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 a keyboard cover that can be lifted to form a music rack.
  • Stop Controls: Drawknobs in horizontal rows on terraced/stepped jambs.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, not in standard AGO position.
  • Pedalboard Type: Flat straight pedalboard.
We received the most recent update for this console from Scot Huntington on December 11, 2020.
Scot Huntington on December 11, 2020:

The Kent Congregational Church was gathered in 1740, built its first church in 1742 and replaced that with the present two-towered structure in 1849. The Johnson organ was dedicated on July 9, 1893 by H.S,. Mygatt of New Milford, and cost $1,300.00. This was the smallest two-manual model the Johnson company built during their late, mature period. It shares this design with Op. 799 built for the First Methodist Church of Morrisville, N.Y. which sadly perished in a fire in 1995. Given the proximity of opera numbers, parts of these instruments were likely built together. The original instrument was altered by Charles Aiken of Granby, Connecticut in 1976, needlessly replacing the original flat pedalboard with a 32-note radiating AGO unit but without expanding the compass, and replacing the Dulciana with a 2' Fifteenth, now rendering the Great without an accompanimental stop.

After serving the church for 114 years, the organ was replaced with an imitation instrument with the speakers placed behind the original facade, and the instrument itself was given to the Smithfield Presbyterian Church in the Smithfield section of the nearby town of Amenia, N.Y. where the organ was installed by grateful parishioners, (with the assistance of Stephen Russell), behind a handsome Greek Revival case built by a talented local cabinetmaker. Because the original facade pipes were forced to remain behind to camouflage the imitation, a set of Estey facade pipes were repurposed in the new facade.

Charles Viner, later an organbuilder in Buffalo, New York, worked with the Johnson company from 1891 until its closure in 1898, recording into a notebook the stoplist and scales of every organ built during his tenure- the source for this stoplist.

We received the most recent update for this note from Scot Huntington on December 11, 2020.
Charles Viner notebook: Open In New Tab Viner notebook page 85, held in the Viner collection in the American Organ Archives. Originally published 1893
We received the most recent update for this stoplist from Scot Huntington on December 12, 2020.

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