Sounds of a 19th-century organ were once again heard during masses at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Claremont yesterday for the first time since vandals broke into the church back in August.
According to authorities, 18-year-old Zachary Underwood and an unidentified 16-year-old boy didn’t enter the balcony where the organ was located when they broke into the church during the early-morning hours of Aug. 23.
Still, the instrument was damaged when fire extinguishers discharged into the air eventually fell into its pipes. The church hired a Guilford, Vermont company to disassemble the organ for cleaning, a process that was completed early last week. The Valley News reports the organ was built in 1895 by Boston firm Jesse Woodbury and Co., and is one of the oldest in the state.
The church was closed for two weeks following the vandalism, with damages estimated at more than $50,000. Underwood, of nearby Charlestown, has plead not guilty to two felony charges resulting from the incident.