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Alaska (Strand) Theatre - 3/23 Skinner
Seattle, Washington
Organ installation timeframe: 1914-1931
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The Alaska organ (Skinner opus #217) was installed in 1914 at a cost of $9,150. As was customary with many organs at the time, there was a three rank Echo division.
Jesse Crawford played at the Alaska in the early days of silent movies. Fred Feringer played the organ in the early 1920's when the theatre was renamed the Strand.
The instrument was eventually moved in 1931 to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Bellingham, Washington. It was installed without tonal changes or additions. In 1969, Balcom & Vaughan was contracted to rebuild and enlarge the organ. A new two-manual console replaced the original Skinner, and several new ranks were added. The Choir chest was sold to Richard Warburton for use in his home organ in Skykomish WA. The original three-manual console eventually made its way to Tom Kaasa of Seattle.
In 1992, Marceau & Associates of Portland, OR. were awarded a contract for a new instrument incorporating most of the remaining components.
<-- Ad from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, c.1925. Fine Clothes starting Lewis Stone and Percy Marmont
The original three-manual drawknob console and other parts were later owned by Jack & Mary Lou Becvar. They had planned to connect the console in tandem with their 3/18 Wurlitzer residence organ. In 1998, the console was purchased by Francis Riley of Seattle.

Stoplist and notes from Jim Stettner, copied from the console in June 1993 when it was owned by Tom Kaasa.

8     Diapason                            73
8     Doppel Flute                       73
8     Erzahler                             73
8     Dulciana                             73

Great 16
Great 4

Swell  (Enclosed)
16   Bourdon                             73
8     Diapason                           73
8     Gedackt                            73
8     Viol d'Orchestre                  73
8     Viol Celeste                       73
4     Flute                                 73
8     Cornopean                         73
8     Orchestral Oboe                 73

Swell 16
[Swell Unison]  On/Off
Swell 4
Choir  (Enclosed)
8     Geigen Principal                73
8     Concert Flute                    73
4     Flute                                73
22/3 Nazard                              61
8     Clarinet                            73

Choir 16
[Choir Unison]  On/Off
Choir 4

Echo  (Enclosed)
8     Fern Flute                         73
8     Unda Maris                       73
8     Vox Humana                     73
       Chimes   (20)

16   Diapason                          32
16   Bourdon                            32
16   Dulciana                  (Ch)   12
8     Flute                                12
Swell to Pedal                                 [8]
Great to Pedal                                 [8]
Choir to Pedal                                 [8]
Echo to Pedal

Swell to Great                             16,[8],4
Choir to Great                             16,[8],4

Swell to Choir                                  [8],4
Echo  [on Choir]                           On/Off

Echo  [on Swell]                           On/Off

General                                          1 - 4
Swell                                             1 - 4
Great                                             1 - 3
Choir                                              1 - 3
Oct. Off

Toe Studs
Pedal                                              1 - 4
Ped. to Comb.    [Swell]                On/Off
Ped to Comb.     [Great]                On/Off
Ped. to Comb.    [Choir]                 On/Off

Foot Levers  (labeled; l - r)
Coup. On                               hitch-down
Ped. Off                                 hitch-down
Gr. Off                                   hitch-down
Gr. to Ped.                             reversible
Sforz.                                    hitch-down
Sw. Reeds Off                        hitch-down
Ch. Reeds Off                         hitch-down

Pedal Movements
Echo Expression                            (bal.)
Choir Expression                            (bal.)
Swell Expression                            (bal.)
Crescendo                                     (bal.)
Action: E-P primary & unit

Voices: 22 or 23 (?)

Stops: 26; inc. chimes & harp

Ranks: 22 or 23 (?)

Pipes: Unverified
In a Console Magazine article (V3 No.9 Sept 1965) entitled, "Seattle: Cradle of the American Theatre Pipe Organ," the Alaska organ is listed as being 23 ranks, 27 stops, and 1,310 pipes. A book entitled E.M. Skinner / Aeolian-Skinner Opus List compiled by Allen Kinzey and Sand Lawn and published by the Organ Historical Society lists the organ as being 22 registers, 24 stops, 22 ranks, and 1296 pipes. Without surveying the ranks and chests, there is no way of knowing the exact truth. The pipe counts given in the preceding specification are based on other documented and existing examples of the builder's work.

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