23 January 1807|
Saint-Hyacinthe, Lower Canada
|Died||9 March 1874
Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
|Known for||Pipe organ manufacturing|
|Notable work(s)||Ottawa and Kingston cathedral organs|
|Spouse(s)||Marie-Olive Sicard de Carufel|
Casavant was born 23 January 1807 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Lower Canada to Dominique Casavant and Marie-Desanges Coderre. Originally a blacksmith, Casavant gave up his trade at age 27 to pursue classical studies in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville. While at Father Charles-Joseph Ducharme's college in 1834, he happened upon a treatise by Dom Bédos de Celles. The 1766 work on organ building was titled L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues (The Art of Making Organs). He subsequently used it to restore the unfinished and abandoned school's organ. News spread throughout the region with the vestry from the Ville de Laval ordering an organ. He set up business in Saint-Hyacinthe and received his first contract in 1840.
Casavant died in Saint-Hyacinthe on 9 March 1874. His work was carried on by his sons, Joseph-Claver and Samuel-Marie, under the firm name of Casavant Frères. Little of Casavant's work survives today, however the company his two sons established retains the copy of de Celles' work.
- "Casavant, Joseph National Historic Person". Parks Canada. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "Casavant Frères". casavant.ca. Casavant Frères. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Bouchard, Antoine. "Item Display » 1871-1880 (Volume X) » CASAVANT, JOSEPH". www.academy.ca/awards/ (in French / English). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Bouchard, Antoine. "Casavant Frères". The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. The Historica Dominion Institute. thecanadianencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Casavant Frères organ manufacturer website
- Historica’s Heritage Minute video docudrama about Joseph Casavant. (Adobe Flash Player.)