Originally purchased from Sears Roebuck for a reported $29.95, the organ in our lobby now was a wedding gift to Nellie Reagle in 1908 from her parents. Nellie lived for a few years in Valentine, Nebraska, before she and her husband loaded their belongings (including the organ) into a wagon and came to Colorado to start a new life.
The organ survived the long journey and about 46 years on the ranch in Ryan’s gulch between Rifle and Meeker Colorado. When the ranch was sold and the family moved to Rifle, the organ came with them and was stored in a garage.
It was in 1981 that Nellie’s daughter Dollie Thurston, and her Husband George Thurston, began a labor of love to restore and refurbish the musical instrument in memory of her beloved mother, Nellie. It took four months, January through April to complete the task. George’s passion for the project was driven by the satisfaction of making Dollie happy at the sight of her Mother’s organ. Found with the organ was a hand written note describing the restoration as January and February of 1981, then another handwritten note adding the months March and April! Evidently things took longer than they planned on, as is the case with most labors of love.
On March 1st, 2013, this organ came to rest at The Hotel Denver courtesy of Larry Brooks, who is Dollie and George’s son. We at The Hotel Denver thank Larry Brooks and his family for this historic treasure and proudly display it for all to enjoy its beauty!