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It's been a busy summer at the Estey Organ Museum.  Thanks to a group of very faithful docents, we've been "open for business" every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and will continue through October 12.  In addition, I have hosted numerous visits by interested persons at other times, as well as group visits from several retirement homes and groups from outside the local area.  We're looking forward to a visit by members of the Berkshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in late September.

On a practical level, we closed our fiscal year in a stable position (income was higher than budgeted and expenses were lower).  The Annual Appeal letters have been sent, and the response is gratifying.  Our events have been fun and varied. The Engine House Gallery is looking great, and we've brought a number of items out from storage to provide an even more diversified range of exhibits and pictures.

If you haven't visited us recently, there's still time before the snow falls.  You're always welcome.

Phil Stimmel
Managing Director


June 13 saw a wonderful event at the Museum.  Violinists Peggy Spencer and Gudrun Weeks and cellist Zon Eastes were joined by Phil Stimmel playing pipe and reed organs to present a varied program of music, all of which included parts for the organ.  The Engine house was filled with appreciative listeners. There's even a brief video clip available on our FaceBook page.

To top off the afternoon, board member Kim Benzel and her helpers hosted a delightful "tea" on Barbara George's loading dock (where, but in Vermont?) featuring table cloths, china, flowers, and an array of tea sandwiches, fruits, cheeses and beverages. Those in attendance included both old and new friends

The above photo shows an exhibit which the Museum displayed at the Vermont Welcome Center for two months this summer.  As the southern gateway to Vermont, this center allows local groups and businesses to exhibit their "wares" and showcase some of the unique features of our part of the state.  Quite a number of visitors came to the museum as a direct result of seeing our exhibition.
“The Estey Organ - Its Place in the Emergence of American Capitalism” was the subject of a presentation by Brattleboro resident Kit Barry on Sunday, June 29 at the Engine House Gallery. 

Barry, who owns The Ephemera Archive for American Studies in Brattleboro is a noted authority on the role of ephemera in American life.  Kit Barry started collecting ephemera when 15 years old, and by the time he was in his late-20’s the collection was taking form as a research tool, an archive.  His collection now numbers some 300,000 items.



This year Estey Day will be celebrated on Sunday, September 21. This year celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jacob Estey in 1814! The 3:00 PM celebration will feature a concert by Middlesex resident Linda Radtke, accompanied by Arthur Zorn on piano & organ.. The event is sponsored by the VT Humanities Council.

Dressed in period costume, Ms Ratke will take us through state history using the songs Vermonters published in their own communities. She is well-known in central Vermont musical circles through her participation in various solo and choral performances, including the Counterpoint chorus conducted by Robert De Cormier.  She now also hosts Vt Public Radio's "The Choral Hour" program.

Her accompanist, Arthur Zorn, has been a teacher in the Barre, VT public schools, and is the Music Director at Bethany Church in Montpelier.

The afternoon will also include an exhibit of some  "women of Estey" prepared by Valerie Abrahamsen, as well as a very brief annual meeting. Refreshments will be served.  There is no admission charge for this event.  The museum is handicapped accessible.


Brattleboro is fortunate that we are right next to Route I-91, and that there is a lovely state Welcome Center located nearby. As part of its programing, the center allows local non-profit groups to sponsor "coffee break fundraisers" at its facilities.  Organizations provide complimentary hot and cold drinks, plus sandwiches, cookies and fruit. We hosted one of these events on a Saturday in July, and netted nearly $700 in contributions.  An Estey portable organ elicited quite a bit of interest from travellers

The event was organized by Valerie Abrahamsen and Sherry Stimmel. (see following photo)


Membership in the Museum

If you haven't yet joined the Estey Organ Museum please consider doing so. The support from our members and friends makes all that we do happen. You are so important to our efforts!

Membership and donation forms are available on our website. We even acept payments by PayPal!


The Estey Organ Museum

108 Birge Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301


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