Pipe Organ

Searles Pipe Organ James E. Treat Opus 1: 1886


  • Original Cost: $50,000.00+

  • Case designed by famous architect Henry Vaughan Case and built by Hurder Bros. of Somerville, MA

  • Case design patterned after the current Walker/Aeolian-Skinner/Andover organ at the Methuen Music Hall, while it was still in Boston, which Mr. Searles eventually purchased.

  • The organ was originally built for Edward Searles’ Great Barrington home. It was moved to his home in Methuen. Upon his death, it was given to First Church.

  • Currently 44 ranks, the organ was installed by William Laws of Beverly, MA in 1924. Mr. Laws eliminated the Tracker-pneumatic action and installed electro-pneumatic pull-down actions on the original slider chests. Mr. Laws also incorporated a console chassis from the Austin Organ Company into the Original console shell.

  • During the 1930s, two stops (Mixture V ranks and Clarion 4′) were removed and substituted with two stops of string tone. Other than that the organ was totally intact.

  • Organ Restoration Phase I Restoration of the organ included rebuilding the console in the style of James Treat which includes new drawknobs. All switching was converted over to a solid state system. Once Phase II is completed this organ will be the largest extant instrument of this builder.


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First Church Congregational

United Church of Christ

26 Pleasant Street

Methuen, MA 01844-3119

TEL: 978-687-1240

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