The Park Church

Historic Park Church, Elmira, NY

               HISTORY OF THE PARK CHURCH - Elmira, NY                              

Ensor, Allison. "'Our Big New Organ Industry': Mark Twain and the Hope-Jones Organ Company  of Elmira, New York Elmira is a city in Chemung County, New York, USA. 27 pp. Quarry Farm Paper #9, 2005. The monograph concerns Twain's involvement with a pipe-organ manufacturing company which was established in Elmira under the guidance of the eccentric organ builder Robert Hope-Jones. Twain's nephew Jervis Langdon was very much a part of the company and was responsible for getting Twain to come to Elmira for the April 3, 1907, demonstration at the Park Church of one of the new Hope-Jones organs. (Twain made a brief talk to the assembled organists, many of whom had come up from the New York City New York City: see New York, city. There was a lot of mistaken optimism about these organs, and the company folded before many years had passed. Hope-Jones went on to work with Wurlitzer, and his ideas were significant in the development of the theater organ. To the purists of the organ world Hope-Jones' name was anathema. [Text provided by author.]


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Mark Twain at Park Church

                                   Photo taken in 1907 on Front of The Park Church                                            ---See Mark Twain in the front row, you can't miss him.  In this photo, Mark Twain gave an Address to local and visiting organists at the Park Church.

Mark Twain and visiting organists at The Park Church, Elmira, New York, April 3, 1907.  Photograph taken by McFarlin, Elmira, NY.  The foremost organists in New York City and vicinity gathered at The Park Church for a demonstration of the new organ that was purchased in memory of the Reverend Thomas K. Beecher.  The instrument was designed by Robert Hope-Jones, founder of the Hope-Jones Organ Company of Elmira.  Pictured among the organists were dignitaries:  First Row: third from left, Samuel Clemens (on his final visit to Elmira), Mayor Zebulon R. Brockway, Reverend Samuel Eastman, Jervis Langdon.  Second Row: between Brockway and Eastman, General Charles Langdon.  Also pictured are Robert Hope-Jones of the Hope-Jones Organ Company (in the second row, to Langdon's left, John Brand, John M. Connelly, and Roy Smith.


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 Livy Langdon Clemens



HISTORY BOOKLET OF THE PARK CHURCH: A very helpful and informational book, limited copies are available is "A History of The Park Church"  1846 -1981, prepared by Eva Taylor.  A history of The Park Church from 1982 up to the current year (right now, 2010) has not been compiled nor published.



 The Langdon Plot at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, NY



          View of the nave and choir loft from the far southwest end of the church.






The HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Melodeon, located in the parlors of the Park Church.  Her brother, the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher was the first pastor at Park Church.



The Parlor at The Park Church, looking northeastward.


The Parlor at The Park Church, looking southwest.


The Parlor at The Park Church, on the west wall.



The Parlor at the Park Church, looking south.






A History of the Park Church

Prepared by Eva Taylor This reprinting of the Park Church History is affectionately dedicated to Eva Taylor who died during its preparation. She served faithfully more than 30 years as the historian of our church.

Park Church History Links

Crystal Eastman According to a May 22, 1946 article in the Star-Gazette titled "Eastman on Home Grounds," The Eastmans lived in Elmira between 1894 and 1898. They then moved to a farm at Glenora. While in Elmira they resided for two years in Park Church in what later became the Sunday School rooms. Next, they lived on West Water Street and then at 118 East Chemung Pl.

Mark Twain One of Twain's closest friends was the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, who performed his and Olivia's wedding ceremony. Twain and Beecher often played billiards in one of the rooms in the Park Church where Beecher was pastor.Rev. Beecher is buried in Elmira, NY.

Read Chapter 1 ...

Read Chapter 2 ...

Read Chapter 3 ...

Read Chapter 4 ...

Read Chapter 5 ...

Read Chapter 6...

Read Chapter 7...

.Read Chapter 8...

Read Chapter 9...

Read Chapter 10...















THE PARK CHURCH HYMN   (Arr. by Geo. F. Root)  (sample music score pending)