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A Venerable Pipe Organ


"Sing to him a new song; play
skillfully, and shout for joy."

Psalm 33:3

Both historians and music lovers in San Diego County will find much interest in the old pipe organ, which has been in continuous use in our church in National City since 1888. Not only was it brought "around the Horn," but is reputed to be the first pipe organ in the country. The organ was built by Johnson & Sons in Massachusetts. Levi N. Stevens pioneer resident and grandfather of Mrs. Paul Mizony, was instrumental in securing the organ and was the first organist to use it. The organ was installed in an alcove, built onto the church for that purpose. The addition to the building, the organ itself, and its installation, cost a total of $1,500, which was quite a venture for our small pioneer church. The organ case is built of cherry wood, and it has one manual and one keyboard and pedalboard. The base pedals are only one and a half octaves, and the pipes number approximately 50. At first it was pumped by hand, and a boy, Luther Harris, was paid ten cents a Sunday and five cents for a weekday practice, to pump the organ. On more than one occasion the pumper dropped off to sleep and the closing hymn was delayed until he could be awakened. When our congregation moved from the old church building at Eight and "A" Avenue, to the new building here at Sixteenth and "I," DeWitt Mytinger, son-in-law of an old time member Mrs. Sara Spofford, assisted by Luther Harris, dismantled the organ and reassembled it in this new structure.


For more information or comments, please e-mail donbert@ix.netcom.com