St. Paul’s Church
Tivoli, New York
7 April, 1984
My Dear Brother:
Your new pipe organ left Tivoli yesterday late afternoon, and I want to congratulate you for acquiring it. Perhaps you will be interested in knowing its background.
During much of the Nineteenth Century, when Tivoli was a thriving river town, there lived here in the summer an eccentric named John Watts dePeyster. He was a man of many attainments, but tee totaling was not among them, and as he grew older he liked to quarrel with the living and revere the dead. His taste led him to erect in our churchyard, and then in this church, itself, large granite monuments on which he detailed the achievements of those he liked to memorialize. The church leaders here in those days were of the Livingston Tribe (Eleanor Roosevelt was one) and in time, the cousins grew restive and asked the General (for such he styled himself) not to erect any more monuments. dePeyster grew angry and built a church for Methodists, in which, by now turning to bronze, he installed medallions depicting his deceased loved ones. He died in 1907 and is buried in the vault under St. Paul’s.
General dePeyster provided your Jardine organ for the Methodists, and a fine instrument it was (is). I coveted it and was offered it for St. Paul’s when the Methodists suspended services c. 1971. But at that time we were ourselves clearing out the second of our two Episcopal churches in the village and had just begun to restore the old Hook and Hastings brought over to St. Paul’s from there. So, I didn’t take the Jardine, but I did occasionally send our restorer (a good friend) over to the Methodist building to see that the organ there was protected from rain damage and little beasts. I always worried that the place would burn down some night, and was delighted to be shown the letter stating that an Episcopal Church will now have this lovely instrument. I am sure you will enjoy it, and honor it as it has not been honored since the days when General dePeyster first heard it.
With sincere best wishes to you and your people, who I congratulate, believe me to be
The Rev. James Elliott Lindsley, Rector
Historiographer, Diocese of New York