Zion Union (Lutheran & Reformed) Church - Orwigsburg, PA

(now in the National Music Museum, Vermillion, SD)

Christian Dieffenbach - 1808

Christian Dieffenbach built a one manual organ of six ranks for Zion Lutheran and Reformed Church in Orwigsburg, Bethel Township in Berks County in 1808. It was dedicated on October 16. It was altered and enlarged by his grandson, Thomas Dieffenbach in 1884 who added three stops, one of them a Bourdon 16' for a pedal that was also added. Thomas grain painted the case and his nephew, Jacob, painted the front pipes. Nevertheless, the organ remained in use for over 130 years. After being stored in a church member's barn for a number of years, the organ was given to the late Thomas Eader who set it up in his house. After Mr. Eader's death, the organ was aquired by the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. The organ was restored in 1991 with the shop of R. J. Brunner serving as consultant. The three stops added by Thomas Dieffenbach were removed and the case was painted in a white with gilt trim. The painting of the front pipes was left intact, however.

The case bears a striking resemblance to the 1770 Tannenberg case at Zion Lutheran Church in Moselem Springs. The Gedackt 8' is stopped wood while the Flaut 4' is open wood. The front pipes are composed of some of the lowest notes of the Principal 4' as well as a few of the lowest notes of the Quint 3'.

The stop list is:

Manual: C-d3, 51 notes
Gedackt 8F.
Principal 4F.
Flaut 4F.
Salicet 4F.
Quint 3F.
Octav 2F.






Listen to an Improvisation in G Dur by Phil Cooper and seven versets by Johann Caspar Simon. NOTE: This is a large file - those with dial-up connection may want to right-click and download the file.


Improvisation: Gedackt 8', Principal 4', Quint 3' and Octav 2'.

Verset 1 in G Dur: Gedackt 8' and Principal 4'.

Verset 3 in G Dur: Principal 4'.

Verset 4 in G Dur: Gedackt 8' and Flaut 4'.

Verset 8 in G Dur: Gedackt 8'.

Verset 6 in G Dur: Salicet 4'.

Verset 5 in G Dur: Gedackt 8', Principal 4' and Octav 2'.

Verset 10 in G Dur: Gedackt 8', Principal 4', Quint 3' and Octav 2'.

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures:


Chapter 5
Home Page