Boston Neighbors — and a Skateboard — Helped Save an Antique Organ From the Landfill

The antique musical instrument was bound for the landfill if it weren't for a group of good Samaritans

Ken Hjulstrom

A group of neighbors in Boston's Jamaica Plain helped save an antique organ from the landfill last week... with a little help from a passing skateboarder.

Universal Hub reports that a photo of the "Golden Toned" organ, which is about 100 years old, was posted on the Everything Free JP Facebook page last week, telling people the large musical instrument had been placed on the curb on Weld Hill Street in Forest Hills on trash day.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

Several neighbors quickly banded together to help save the organ and find it a new home.

One of those neighbors, Pam Jaques, who plays the organ herself, stopped by to see it, which still worked. She and Ken Hjulstrom, who lives in Roslindale and had also seen the Facebook post, moved the organ so it wouldn't get hauled off by garbage collectors.

"I was sick to my stomach seeing it on the curb," Jaques told NBC10 Boston.

"Pam was already there, and other people were coming and going, taking a look at the organ," Hjulstrom added. "We soon figured out that the organ was actually functional and played well. Pam and I decided to stay with the organ as long as possible, with the idea that we’d still be there when the trash truck came, so we could prevent them from taking the organ, even if we hadn’t yet found a new owner."

Jaques and Hjulstrom began asking people if they wanted the organ, with Jaques even playing the organ to show off its capabilities to passersby.

"Essentially, Ken and I were asking everyone who want by if they wanted the organ -- people on the sidewalk and people driving," Jaques said. "And then this young woman came along and we asked her and she said, 'Oh, it's still there! I saw it this morning! I'll go ask my roommate.' She came back and said, 'Yeah, we'll take it!'"

She said the young woman's roommate just happened to be a piano player.

But then came the issue of getting the heavy organ off the curb.

"It was around then that the man with the skateboard came by," Jaques said. "So I asked him if he could help with moving it, and he did. We were trying to figure out anything that would work because there's no way that should have ended up in the landfill."

Altogether, Hjulstrom said it took five people to move the organ down the street and up the front steps into its new owner's home.

And it's a good thing the organ rescue team showed up when they did. Just minutes after the organ was moved, the garbage collectors arrived.

"Once the organ was nicely situated in its new home, about five minutes after we got it inside the building we went back outside and saw that the trash trucks had arrived and had just passed by where the organ had once been out on the curb!" Hjulstrom said.

Contact Us