Recently in MMD there have been several references to Jim Krughoff's
97-key Steenput. I thought it would be good to give some background
information on this fine fair organ. I am fortunate to live only
15 minutes from the Krughoffs and listen to this fair organ on a
This instrument is best described as a concert fairground organ.
It is in the class of the largest chromatic fair organs such as the
Ruth 39, 110-key Gavioli, etc. All of these large organs have a
tremendous ability to play classical music, especially overtures.
The Steenput is unique in that it has the mixtures found in a German
organ as well as the orchestral ranks usually associated with an organ
of French origin. The Steenput has 756 pipes and 15 automatic regis-
ters. The organ is chromatic in the bass, melody, and accompaniment
The De Grote Steenput was built in 1928 by Steenput Freres of Puurs,
Belgium. It is one of two large fair organs built by this firm. The
other was destroyed. The De Grote Steenput in the Krughoff Collection
was used by the Vermolen Amusement Company in their "Dodgem" ride.
Later the organ was purchased into preservation by a Mr. Wind who named
it the Windmolen.
Upon my recommendation, and after listening to a superb arrangement
of the Hungarian Rhapsody for the organ by Tom Meijer, Mr. Krughoff
purchased the organ and sent the instrument to Johnny Verbeeck for
restoration. During the restoration the tremolo mechanism, recently
discussed in MMD, was added by Mr. Verbeeck to take advantage of music
in the Verbeeck library which called for it.
The original Steenput Music, much of it arranged by Carl Frei, does not
use the tremolo and thus the organ playing this music has a fair organ
sound. In the Carl Frei music the melody is generally played in the
baritone section with ornate counter-melodies played in the melody
Recently Jim Krughoff was fortunate to acquire music from the other
large Steenput which was destroyed. Much of this music was arranged
by Schollaert and is fantastic! By the way, Wayne Holton of Houston,
Texas has recently arranged a number of selections for the organ,
including Tannhauser as well as many circus marches. He does not use
the tremolo. His arrangements which are in the best fair organ
tradition are also fantastic!
The best way to get CD recordings of this organ is to attend the
annual MBSI MID-AM BAND ORGAN RALLY, or the annual CIRCUS WORLD event
on Milwaukee's lakefront in July. At both these events the De Grote
Steenput is displayed, and, at these events, Jim Krughoff makes the