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Organ Builders Kriisas Memorial Stone

Category Architectural sightseeings, Monuments
Kokõmäe küla, Rõuge vald, Võrumaa
Coordinates 57.709461, 27.013828
GPS: 57° 42' 34" N, 27° 0' 50" E

Three brothers and organ builders - Juhan Kriisa (27.03.1858), Jakob Kriisa (13.06.1861) and Tannil Kriisa (01.12.1866) - were born in Haanja parish in Kokemäe village in an old fashioned farm-house. The room where they came into this world was earth floored and was also used for kiln-drying grains. Our story is about Jakob Kriisa, thanks to whom we are here now. All the three brothers went to Koke parish school for three winters. Jakob lived in Kokemäe until he got married. He became a son-in-law in the Meelaku village. The first organ was built by three brothers for Pressi school in 1886. At that time Jakob was a 25-year old man. Our family has the honor to keep this musical instrument until nowadays. On the second floor there is a special organ, which was used for tuning organ pipes. With the marriage of Jakob the organ building was not disrupted, it rather developed, beacuse the workshop got more spacious rooms in Meelaku. Henceforth the church organs were jointly built in three different places, all 7 kilometers away from each other. Single parts for the organs were manufactured simultaneously in Kokemäe by Tannil, in Meelaku by Jakob and in Tautsa by Juhan. All the single parts had to match with each other and to be put in the right place. In Meelaku, Jakob specialized in manufacturing the metal pipes for the organs. It was a very specific and subtle work. Jakob Kriisa was deeply devoted to his work. All the net profit gained from the organ building was used to keep the farm in a good condition. This resulted in the most distinguised household in the neighbourhood. As an organ builder, Jakob Kriisa participated in making big church organs for 23 years and 15 instruments were built during that time. Jakob Kriisa died on 05.05.1949 at the age of 88. 

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