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Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

The Mayowood Organ

07 Nov 2012 10:25 PM | Dawn Daehn (Administrator)

December 2015 Update: 

Currently, the historic Aeolian Organ at the Mayowood Mansion no longer being used for home tours. The electricity has been turned off to the instrument. This is unfortunate news since our chapter members spent hours restoring parts of it for the tours. Discussion is underway about restoring the instrument to its grandeur. To accomplish such an enormous task, a generous donor or donors are needed to fund the project. 

November 2012

Chapter members are currently volunteering to play the Aeolian Organ at the Mayowood Mansion in rural Rochester. (If you haven't signed up, there are still many open time slots; contact the chapter Dean, Sebastian).

Extensive work has been done recently on parts of the organ and this work needs to be understood. Last year at this time, we had to withdraw from playing at the mansion because the organ blower/motor bearing were going bad. The bearings were replaced this summer and the motor re-built; no small task. In addition, asbestos abatement work was begun this past summer throughout the house. For the organ, this meant removal of all the pipework from the main chamber so that work could be done on heating pipes that went through the chamber. This was done, and the pipework was replaced and tuned in both the main and the echo chambers. This, too, was no small task. So the organ plays and is in tune, but many of the wiring issues remain because this has not yet been dealt with. Thus, we need to continue to work around some dead notes and other anomalies that are the result of 100 year old wiring and switching. How the wiring and switching is going to be dealt with remains to be seen, but for now, the organ is playing from both chambers and we can do what we are asked to do for the tours.

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