The OHS Pipe Organ Database

St. John's Episcopal Church
211 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Carter Chapel

OHS Database ID 9753.

See the address on Google Maps.

Awards

This organ was presented Historic Pipe Organ Award number 417 on 2015-06-01 and received the designation Organ of Historical Significance. An image of the award certificate may be seen here.


Status and Condition

The organ has been altered from the original installation as described here.
The condition of the organ is in not known or has not been reported to the Database.
We received the most recent update on this organ's state and condition March 3, 2016.
If you can assist us with information concerning the current condition of this organ, please use the form accessible through the "Update" button.


Technical Details

Slider chests. Mechanical key action. Mechanical stop action.

One manual. 1 divisions. 7 stops.

There are hinged doors that enclose keyboards. There is an attached keydesk en fenêtre.

Drawknobs in vertical rows on flat jambs. Trigger/hitch-down swell. No combination action.

Notes

  • Restoration of relocated organ of 1838. The original builder was Hill & Davison (1837). (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Restoration conducted 1977-1984. (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Pipework restored. Scot Huntington worked on the pipes which included an original Clarabella 8' from Middle C. (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Updated through online information from Scot Huntington.
    The derelict Hill & Davison organ was being refurbished and brought into usability by an organ student at the University of Florida, Tallahassee, under the direction of newly-appointed organ professor Dr. Michael Corzine, with Barbara Owen serving as advisor. The early history of the organ was somewhat fuzzy and the information which follows was reported to me as oral history.

    The metal pipework was completely crushed, some builders thought irreparably so, and had the organ not been so historically important, the pipes would likely have been replaced outright. This instrument is believed to be the only surviving relic of the short-lived partnership (1837-1838) of William Hill and Frederick Davison. It was originally installed new, at a unknown church in New York City, and was installed at Christ Church Anglican, Savannah, Georgia as a temporary organ "following an earthquake"- perhaps the Great Savannah Earthquake of 1886. In use there for two years, it was sold to another church in Savannah.

    I no longer remember the history of how the organ came to Florida, but I believe it may have been a bequest from an alumni. At the time the pipes were restored in August, 1979, the organ had been in Florida "20-25 years", and the metal pipes had been placed in a large crate with folding chairs stored on top of them the entire time. I restored the metal pipework while in the employ of organbuilder A. David Moore, North Pomfret, Vermont, in the capacity of pipemaker and voicer.

    Believing the pipework might contain clues as to some original non-equal temperament, the pipe lengths were left untouched, including the variety of randomly-cut tuning tabs, and the pipes were fitted with tuning slides in hopes that once installed in the organ, some future researcher might be able to divine a reasonably accurate temperament. The original pitch was left at A430, but I heard a rumor some time later, that the pipes had been been shortened to A440 and revoiced. If true, this would have permanently obliterated the original voicing that we tried so scrupulously to preserve. We did take extremely detailed scale measurements which are preserved. The wind pressure was 51 mm. This organ contains the oldest known extant Claribella stop invented shortly before its appearance here. (Database Manager. March 3, 2016)

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

The database contains no links to external websites that describe this organ. If you know of any sites that contain information about it, please use the Update form to send us the URL.

Photographs

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Stoplist

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 stoplists@organsociety.org rather than submitting a new stoplist through our online form.

  • Stoplist from personal files, recorded 1979.

  • Tallahassee, Florida
    St. John's Episcopal Church,
      on loan from Florida State University
    
    Hill & Davison, 1838
    
    Compass: GG-f''', 59 notes
    
    Open Diapason         from tenor-c, two pipes new 1979
    Claribella            from tenor-c, stopped wood tenor octave,
                             open wood from middle-c
    Dulciana              from tenor-c, tenor-c to tenor-f# grooved to Claribella
                             one pipe new 1979
    Stopt Diapason Bass   GG-B, stopped wood, 17-notes
    Principal             stopped wood GG-BB, open metal from bass C; one pipe new 1979
    Fifteenth             open metal throughout; 5 pipes new 1979
    
    Wood pipes had glue-on caps, low cut-ups, and toe-regulated voicing. Metal pipes were 
    common metal with dubbed mouths, steep languid angles, light diagonal nicking, 
    and toe-regulated voicing.The pipes had been labeled in India ink.   
    
     [Received from Scot Huntington 2016-02-20.]
  • Stoplist from personal files, recorded 1979. Plain text; will open in a new window or tab.