Between 1894 and 1977, instrumental music at St. Thomas’s was provided by reed (“pump”) organs, the last of which was a large one-manual Kimball instrument. In 1977 Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Franklin, VA, offered St. Thomas’ their historic organ, which was being replaced by a new pipe organ, if the parish would restore and use it. The disassembled organ arrived in March and was stored in an unused church nearby. It was partially set up by the end of the year, and heard on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered on Christmas Eve. The completed organ was dedicated on April 1, 1979. A large portion of the tedious restoration work was done by members of the parish under professional guidance. 


The organ was apparently built before the Civil War by a German craftsman in the Philadelphia area, rebuilt in 1898 by Adam Stein of Baltimore for the Franklin church, and moved to their present building in 1914. Tonal changes made during the restoration returned the instrument to an approximation of its pre-1898 state; minor additional improvements have been made since then.  There are 414 pipes, arranged in nine ranks (sets), seven played from the manual keyboard, and two from the pedalboard. The mechanism is entirely tracker (mechanical) action;  the only electrical component is the blower, added in 1914. The pedalboard was enlarged from 13 to 17 notes and the blower replaced in 2006.


The Fifteenth, the wooden pipes of  the Pedal stops and the Flute, and  the smaller pipes in the facade are original;  the Dulciana, Octave and most of the Open Diapason date from 1898; the Twelfth was created in 1977 from pipes of the 1898 Salicional;  the Melodia is from an 1872 organ by Steer & Turner;  the metal pipes of the Flute and the eight pipes added to the Pedal in 2006 are old,  but not original.