The 1918 Wurlitzer 165 Band Organ (serial no. 3124) that used to
be at San Francisco's Playland-at-the-Beach until it closed in
1972 is finally going back to California. That organ has been
owned for the past 2+ decades by Hayes McClaran, formerly of Fresno,
now residing in Batesville, Indiana. Hayes has been wanting to see
the organ return to use in California, and he had the facade beautifully
repainted in the Wurlitzer style, with the oils showing scenes from
California landscapes and history.
The organ will not only return to California, but it will be used
in an operating amusement park. The Canfield family, owners of the
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, bought the band organ from McClaran in
a transaction brokered by Tim Trager and others. Company president
Charles Canfield says they plan to make the organ a centerpiece of the
park's centennial celebration in 2007. The only original Wurlitzer 165
operating today in a park and on a carousel is at the Federally-owned
Glen Echo Park, outside Washington, D.C.
This puts a Wurlitzer 165 band organ back in California, which had
several in the days of Ross R. Davis but for the past few months has
had not a one, with the sale this year of John Malone's 165 to the
Arnold Chase collection in Connecticut.
Irondequoit, New York