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Collier Residence- 3/10 Kimball
Mill Creek (Martha Lake), Washington
Organ installation timeframe: 1960's - 1980
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Jim Collier installed the former Seattle Capitol Theatre Kimball instrument in his barn/studio. It was a very popular meeting spot for PSTOS members in the 1960's and 70s. The original two-manual console was enlarged to three manuals.
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PSTOS gathering
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Bob Jones
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Woody Presho
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Portland's Bob Burke at the console with Jim Collier looking on.
The organ was eventually sold and was to be installed in the Everett Theatre. When a larger instrument was donated to the theatre in 1997, the Collier instrument was displaced. Part of the organ was to be installed in Everett's Cosmopolitan Theatre but in January 2002, the project was terminated and the parts put up for sale.
December 7, 1996 John Hahn Seattle P-I article about Jim Collier

Ad from The Console magazine, February 1980:
KIMBALL THEATRE ORGAN - 13 ranks, Chrysoglott, Orchestra Bells, Toy Counter, Xylophone, plus many extras that are not original. Asking price, $15,000.00 Jim Collier, 16912 - 9th Avenue S.E., Bothell, Wash. 98011. Playable as is.

From the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Thursday May 30, 2002
Taking some time to remember Jimmie, who kept our clocks running
Jimmie Collier, the man who built and repaired many of Seattle's classic old street clocks, ran out of time. After 85 years of tinkering with everything from telephones to racing cars and curbside timepieces, Emerson Coffield "Jimmie" Collier Jr., died of leukemia last week.
Jimmie and his wife, Barbara, had moved into an old converted dairy barn in what is now Mill Creek more than 40 years ago, when he still was balancing full-time work as a telephone lineman, an Edmonds machine shop owner and racecar builder. Any and each one of those endeavors, plus his passion for street clocks and other mechanical oddities, might have been a full-time job, but Jimmy did them all.
Literally and metaphorically, he worked round the clock. Two of the street clocks he and friend Lowell Archibald built from scratch still mark the minutes and hours in the farmyard of Jimmie's eight-acre spread just a stone's throw from 164th Street Southeast. And when last I visited, a tower clock he was building in one of his outbuildings still was keeping perfect time. Jimmie confessed that he'd converted his remaining clocks to electricity "because it got to be a chore to wind them up every week."
The old street clocks at Columbia Center and the Maltby Cafe are the products of Jimmie's handiwork. Many others on main business streets around Puget Sound were repaired or rebuilt by Jimmie, including one outside the Mills Music store that had to be completely rebuilt after it crashed to the ground when he was moving it. A copy of that two-faced clock still keeps time in Jimmie's Mill Creek farmyard, along with another four-faced clock he built from an old Puget Sound Navigation Co. buoy.
Jimmie and Barbara, who had no children, always had time for people of all ages and interests. He was known for his delightful habit of always handing out hard candies to everyone he met.
And there always seemed to be a box for canned goods and other food near their kitchen door, waiting to be filled before they schlepped it to the Volunteers of America food pantry in Everett. I always tried to bring a little something for their give-away food box when I visited.
Jimmie was born on 24th Avenue Northwest in Ballard, the only son among seven children of Seattle police Capt. Emerson and Bertha Collier. Jimmie attended Adams Elementary and Ballard High and Broadway Technical High. While he was serving in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific during World War II, his father would send crystal radio kits for Jimmie to assemble and sell to other GI's. He told longtime friend Dan O'Brien that he scrounged enough parts to build a Jeep on Guadalcanal, but it was commandeered by an officer.
After the war, Jimmie and Barbara lived in Ballard, Latona, Edmonds and eventually bought their little farmstead, back when Jimmie's driving to his phone company job and his Edmonds machine shop wasn't what he thought was a bad commute, even though there was no Interstate 5 and most of the local roads still were graveled. They converted the milking stall level to their home and rented out the farmhouse. In later years, he lamented the development and "progress" that swallowed them up as part of incorporated Mill Creek.
Back when he was working well before dawn and well after dusk, Jimmie found time and energy to remove the pipe organ from Seattle's old Palomar Theater, piece by piece, and rebuild that massive musical instrument. He once cranked it up and played the opening notes from "Pop Goes the Weasel" for me up in the second-level haymow. "That's about all I can play," he confessed. That organ was donated a couple of years ago to Everett Historic Theater, and the folks there staged a special organ concert for Jimmie just a few weeks before he died. "He was very, very pleased," said his friend Dan.
Dan and everyone else on the car-racing circuit knew Jimmie as a champion sprint car owner in the former Washington/Oregon Racing Association and the Racing Roadster Association of Washington. Jimmie was one of the founders of the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, a lifetime member of Sky Valley Racing Association, and a Hall of Fame member of Golden Wheels Racing Fraternity. (Editor's Note: A few of the organizations Collier belonged to were incorrectly listed in the original version of this story)
"Jimmie built a type of car which could be converted in a short time from a regulation sprint car to a roadster," Dan noted. "He was well known and loved by racers ... he would always do machining and repair work for them -- anytime of day or night." When he was 80, he drove a couple of high-speed laps around the Skagit Speedway track in Alger, but conceded that driving the fast cars made him a tad uncomfortable.
A racecar Jimmie built with an aircraft engine is on permanent display at the Hilton Hotel in Reno, Nev. A cherry Pratt & Whitney nine-cylinder aircraft engine that used to be displayed not far from his pipe organ in the barn was donated to the Museum of Flight. Over the years, Jimmie donated several hand-built racecars to various charity auctions.
Jimmie Collier is survived by his wife, Barbara; their Pomeranian, Tuffy; and by two sisters, Pauline Gibson and Joan Peppan, of Seattle.
Services: Memorial services for Jimmie Collier will be at 11 a.m., Saturday at North Creek Presbyterian Church, 621 164th St. S.E., Mill Creek, with a reception afterward in the church. In lieu of flowers, donations -- including canned goods and non-perishable foods -- may be made to Volunteers of America (P.O. Box 839, Everett, WA 98206) or at 1230 Broadway, Everett, WA. 98201.

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