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More than 100 year old organ returns home to Evansville

An organ more than a century old originally built in Evansville has returned home. 

From Wisconsin to Ohio, then Virginia for refurbishing, a piece of Evansville's history is back home just right behind the doors of First Presbyterian in Evansville. 

The walls are now filled with a new sound, but a familiar sound of an organ that traveled around the country before making its way back home. 

"The journey is it was made here in the late 19th century by Edmund Giesecke who was born in Germany in 1845,” said Robert Nicholls, dean of the local American Guild of Organists. 

Built in the late 1800s,  just down the road from where it now resides. 

“We understand it was made for a small church in Wisconsin. In the early 50s it moved to Maumee, Ohio to a little Lutheran church there and that closed in recent years." 

The owners wanted to find a new place for melodies to be played. They saw the nameplate which said Evansville Indiana.  

"It's the most extraordinary amalgamation of everything to do with Evansville. It's manufacturing history, the furniture making history."

It was brought in pieces and in bad shape back to Evansville in July of 2016. The American chestnut case was heavily damaged so it was sent away again to Virginia to be restored. 

“It's a coming together of the musical arts and performing arts and of course Evansville's great history of welcoming the immigrant from abroad then being able to produce fantastic works of art.”

Arriving back to the church in October, the organ is now in possibly its best condition since it was made.

An organ that has a long life ahead, now that it's playing music once again back home.

Doors are always open at First Presbyterian for people to take a look at the organ, but there will be a dedication ceremony this Sunday at 4 p.m. 

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(This story was originally published on November 7, 2018)

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