History of Reuter #822.

A brief history...

St. Paul's Lutheran Church (Borchers).

St. Paul's Lutheran Church was organized in 1852. A foot operated "reed" organ was used up until 1948 when the Reuter #822 pipe organ was installed. #822 was built in 1948 by the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrance, Kansas, and installed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, located in the country, 6 miles north of Cortland, Indiana. (the commonly used name by members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church is "Borchers", Pastor Borcher was the first pastor of the church in the mid 1800's).

Photograph taken on September 29, 1984 showing the colors used inside from the 1950's thru the late 1980's.

The pipes were located in the black screened area behind the organ console upstairs in the choir loft in the back of the church.

The console at the church located in the organ loft (photo taken in the fall of 2003).

Standing in the doorway of the pipe room..a tight fit obviously for all the pipes..note the bourdon pipes to the right.

Inside the pipe room, directly behind the console, note the swell shutter mechanism.

Inside the pipe room, note the chimes on the wall.

According to Harlan Dringenburg, organist of St. Paul's (Borchers) during the time the organ was in use, the organ was a result of a fundraising campaign by Luther League. Luther League is the youth group of church members at Borchers. At the time, Harlan and other members, along with my father, engaged in various fund raising activities to meet the financial requirements for the purchase of this organ for the church.

December 1990

December 1990

Click the play button (right facing arrow) to listen after the file begins to download.

A stereo recording of the bells being rang in the Summer of 2006.

December 1990




The 3 photos in the organ loft at church are of Dr. Sarah & John Hegmann on September 29, 1984.

Click the play button (right facing arrow) to listen after the file begins to download.

This audio mp3 is a recording of the last service hymn played on Reuter #822 at Borchers
Organist - Olga Otte Fall 2003.

Originally this church had excellent accoustics for the organ however carpeting, and cloth upholstered seat cushions eliminated most accoustical reverberation by the 1980's.

Harlan Dringenburg at the Reuter organ after re-installation at my home.
To listen to Harlan play the Reuter click here for a 18 minute movie.

The first organist to play this organ was the mother of Harlan Dringenburg, followed by Harlan himself. Harlan was the organist for most of the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, followed by Olga Otte who was the last organist to play on this organ in regular church service in the fall of 2003.

The organ performed for the church well for all services, weddings, funerals and other events. One little bit of history, the mechanical chimes are of special interest as at most baptisms, Harlan would play a single chime note at the saying of "In the name of the Father (chime), Son (chime) and Holy Ghost (chime).

The organ was well maintained and in complete working order up until around 2000, when various pipes begin to fail to sound, presumeably due to the leathers in the airchest underneath the pipes beginning show the affects of 50 years of heavy use, and the congregation decided to replace the 822.

Photograph - May 2005
(Click on photo to enlarge)

An effort is underway to preserve the church, as it is slated to be replaced by a new structure currently under construction.

March 2008 photo of the new church underconstruction. A effort of several families of the congregation is hoping to encourage moving the historic church for its longterm preservation, to help preserve for future generations one of the oldest buildings in Jackson County.

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