Residence: Dr. Matson

Spring Valley, MN

Builder: Wurlitzer
Manuals: 2
Action: Electropneumatic

Notes: Dr. Matson acquired a reconstructed horse barn that had never held animals and converted it into his home. The lower level, the stables, became the home while the upper level loft became a big room housing a Wurlitzer in chambers at one end. Photos by David Engen from a visit by St. Olaf organ students sometime around 1970.

Further information from Carsten Slostad: St. Paul's American Lutheran was originally organized in 1873 by German settlers. It was never part of the the German Missouri Synod church however. They met in several locations and finally built their building (currently converted into apartments) in 1903 [in Spring Valley]. They built an addition to the building in the early 1950's to house the Wurlitzer organ which was purchased from the Century Theater in Minneapolis...Once the move into the new building occurred, the St. Paul location was emptied and only the organ and a few pews remained. Dr. Matson of Spring Valley became interested and bought the organ and worked out a deal with the church to cover the cost of heating the building in winter. That arrangement worked for a couple of years...There were several theater organ (ATOS) events held with some interesting and some well known players...The church sold the building in 1964 to the contractor who built the new church. He had a design to convert the building into 5 apartments. The organ had to be removed and I along with a crew of Dr. Matson's friends got the job done in one week. He put the organ in storage until his barn conversion was compelted for the reinstall in Spring Valley. 2020.

From left: Ron Bolinger, Greg Teeter, Robert Thompson, Dean File.

Kevin Gross