A Personal Organ Visit Report by: Bruce Hannover, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The Ironwood Michigan Barton

On a recent family vacation, the Hannover family enjoyed a few moments with the Barton Theatre Pipe Organ located in the Ironwood Theatre in Ironwood, Michigan.

The organ is, by quick assessment about 90 % functional, as the orginal relays and combination action are still in use. There are the usual assortment but of dead notes, but overall, the organ is in good condition, due to upkeep by the local folks who maintain the organ. There is a newly installed 16 foot diaphone, mounted on the backstage left wall that I was not able to find the stoptab to make it play, but I assume that this is a current project there.

The Theatre is in immaculate condition and has been the recipient of recent restoration work. Duplicates of the original seats have been installed and the original crystal chandeliers are still in place. I would estimate that the theatre seats about 1200, with the balcony.

Downtown Ironwood is suffering the same fate as many old downtowns. The main stores are moving out to the new strip centers, so there are some vacancies along the main street, but the area is remarkably clean and many smaller stores are still located there.

We had a very nice visit there in the last week of July, 1998.

Bruce Hannover ( Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Update: 3/2002

The Curator of the Ironwood organ, Opus #145, Tom Peacock Sent us this update:
I am the Organ Curator of the Theatre and am overseeing the restoration of the organ. It is all 100% original and fully playable. Recently the combination pneumatics have been restored and releathered. All key nuts and felts have been replaced. I arrange for annual restoration sessions with professionals and volunteers, and hope to have the organ fully restored within the next several years. The blower is a Spencer 3 HP. I have the serial number, and will get it to you when I can find it. Please feel free to contact me for any information you need to add to your database. I will try to attach a couple of pictures of #145, "The Grand Old Lady" of the Ironwood.

Tom Peacock

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