The organ at St. Joseph’s is an exceptional musical instrument. The Church is unsure as to when the original organ built by Joseph Buffinton was installed. However, the original organ was replaced with an organ built by the Carl Barckhoff Company, from Salem, Ohio sometime around the middle of 1891.St. Joseph Church has superb acoustics. These acoustics promote a sound reverberation of more than five seconds. This is probably one of the reasons Barckhoff selected St. Joseph’s Church to build such a magnificent instrument. The view from the front of the church looking above the balcony is a veritable mountain of pipes filling the choir loft.
Sometime in the late 1930’s several pipes fell and sustained considerable damage. By the mid 1960’s the organ was unplayable. An electronic substitute was brought and placed on a chest behind the pipes. Unfortunately this did more damage to the Barckoff organ. However, this was not to be the end of this magnificent instrument. Due to the efforts of Dr. Karl Moyer, James R. McFarland and William Van Pelt, Father L.C. Gross and the people of the St. Joseph Parish the organ was restored.
More than 700 crumbled pipes were painstakingly straightened by the McFarland pipemaker, Paul A. Maye. Only two of the pipes needed to be replaced. The work was completed in November 1985 and in 1987 the Organ Historical Society cited the organ as “an instrument of exceptional historical merit, worthy of preservation.”
When you enter St. Joseph’s Church you will be blessed by the beautiful surroundings of the church and the wonderful music this magnificent organ makes. People who experience these and other riches of this church will surely realize that, “This Can Be Nothing Other Than The House Of God.” Genesis 28:17