New Boston resident donates antique organ to township


New Boston resident Gail Sobecki has memories of her grandmother, Lena Young, playing this organ for her in her grandparents’ farm house on Ash Road. Sobecki recently donated the organ to Huron Township. Photo by Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub

By Scott BolthouseHub Editor

Gail Sobecki of New Boston recently donated an antique pump organ that has been in her family’s possession for well over 100 years to Huron Township.

The organ, which currently resides at Township Hall, likely took hundreds of hours to build in the late 1800s by C. J. Whitney & Co. that produced and sold the instruments out of Detroit.

Sobecki — who is moving and doesn’t have room to store the organ — wanted to give it to the township because both of her grandparents were from the Huron area.

“It belonged to my grandmother, Lena Young” Sobecki said. “She was a Huron Township resident who lived on Ash Road in a farm house with my grandfather, Herman.”

Sobecki said that her grandmother had the organ before she was born, and that she has fond memories of her playing it in the old farm house.

“She had two organs; this one was the good organ,” she said. “The kids weren’t allowed to play this one. There was another one that we could play, but this one was only for her.”

Sobecki said her grandmother, who died in 1976 while in her 80s, was a very musical person, and enjoyed singing in church and at funerals.

“I can remember her sitting there playing it, and she’s peddling and pumping — she was very musical.”

Lena Young grew up on a family farm on Carleton West Road in Sumpter Township, before marrying Herman Young and moving to Ash Road. The couple was married for over 50 years.

“Most of my grandmother’s music was either religious or patriotic,” Sobecki said.

Clerk Kathlene Van Wasshnova, who affixed a special honorary plaque to the organ Monday morning, said that the township is still trying to figure out where the organ’s permanent home will be.

Photos by Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub

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