The Salem Methodist Church's Wirsching organ was first installed  in 1887 and then in 1911 following the dedication of their present building


    Salem’s Two

Organ Companies

   Barckhoff &


     Monthly Meeting

  Tuesday, September 8 


 Dale Shaffer Meeting Room 

Tuesday’s September 8th monthly meeting of the Salem Historical Society will feature “Salem’s Two Organ Companies: Barckhoff and Wirsching“ as presented by James M. Stark of the Organ Historical Society.

The history of these two organ makers is intertwined. When his father died in 1878, Carl Barckhoff took over the Philadelphia firm, Felix Barckhoff & Sons.  Carl then moved to Pittsburgh and then to Salem where he stayed until 1895.

Philip Wirsching opened shop in 1887 and built his first organ in that year for the Salem Methodist Church.  It was later removed and rebuilt in 1911 when the present church was dedicated in 1910.  While somewhat altered, it is still identifiable as a Wirshing organ  and continues to be used for services.

Wirsching organs were also installed for Salem Episcopal, Emmanuel Lutheran, First Baptist, Saint Paul Catholic, and First Presbyterian churches where they have been replaced and no longer being used.  Wirsching also built organs in 1909 for the A. K. Mansfield residence on South Lincoln and the Salem Opera House.

The Wirsching reputation grew and five of their instruments are listed in “Pipe Organs of the Rich and Famous.”  The presenter, Jim Stark, lives in Pittsburgh and is the information data base collector for Wirsching organs.

The 7:00 meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Dale Shaffer Library’s meeting room at 239 South Lundy Avenue with parking suggested in the city municipal parking lot on South Lundy Avenue.  Greeter will be Trustee Judi Allio and refreshments will be available following the meeting.

Further information can be obtained by calling the Society, 330-337-8514.
Volunteer-noun [vol·un·teer] \ˌvä-lən-ˈtir\
one of the many talented and dedicated
people who keep the wheels moving
at the Salem Historical Society

Our  volunteers are a vital part of the many tasks performed at the museum.  If you have Monday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday mornings free, we have many areas to put your skills and interest to work for our community. 

Volunteers do everything needed to maintain and preserve our Salem history.  Either call or stop in during our office hours and discuss your interests and availability with us.

Can you........

  • organize materials?
  • clean?
  • conduct tours?
  • file?
  • do data entry?
  • arrange meaningful displays?
  • do carpentry and other building repairs?
  • garden?
  • do research?
  • organize tours and events?

Give us a call!

We are a Participating Venue

and will accept free tickets for Sunday tours
on September 27 from 1-4 pm

The Salem Historical Society will again be participating in the Smithsonian magazine Museum Day, offering free admission to nationwide museums during the weekend of September 26 and 27.  Click here then scroll down to print a free ticket good for two persons.  Whether one lives in California, New York, Florida, or Ohio, there are all types of museums that participate and welcome your attendance. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Hours of Operation
Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday  9am-noon

Main Entry for Meeting Room and Gift Shop at the
Dale Shaffer Research Library

239 South Lundy

Salem, OH

Sundays Tours 1-4pm
(May through October)

Tours begin at the rear door of the Pearce House in the old meeting room on Shaffer Way.

The Salem Historical Society
Mailing Address:

208 South Broadway Ave
Salem, OH 44460

(330) 337 - 8514

....keeping and making history

The Salem Historical Society