St. John's Reformed Church ("Hain's Church")

Wernersville, PA

1795


The Reformed congregation in Lower Heidelberg Township obtained an organ from Tannenberg in 1795 although a church history book also gives the date 1789 on a different page. The organ had eight stops and the case was painted white. One of the early organists of the church was Peter Bertram who served in this capacity from 1813 to 1838. The church history states that he was well educated and a highly trained organist. The church history also states that he sometimes gave instructions to the person working the bellows ropes so as to produce a tremulant effect. This is interesting in that this is the only known documented instance when this was done with a Pennsylvania-German organ.

From 1840 to 1869, the organist of the church was Peter Bertram's son, Jonathan, who wrote out a music book that is still preserved in the church archives.

The old photograph of the organ shows that it bore a striking resemblance to the 1802 Tannenberg organ in Madison, VA possibly indicating the later date of construction. The fact that both organs were made with eight stops could possibly mean this organ was identical to the organ in Madison although the church history mentions that one of the stops was a 3 rank Mixture.

Thomas Dieffenbach rebuilt the organ in 1878 after the church building had been enlarged to its present size. An old photograph shows the organ in this state. A new organ was built for the church by Elmer Palm in 1904 possibly using some old parts. The Palm organ was replaced by one built by Austin Organ Co. in 1930.

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures:

Credit for these photos: St. John's (Hain's) United Church of Christ.

 

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