The organ, built in 1930 at the height of the E.M. Skinner tonal era, started life at Temple Methodist Church in San Francisco, CA. Built in 1925, the church fell on hard times during the depression. Still needing an organ, they arranged for a payment plan with Boston based Skinner for Opus 819, a four manual 61 rank instrument that included many choice Skinner stops. By 1937, the church was no longer able to make payments and the organ was essentially repossessed. Occidental College was building Thorne Auditorium and purchased the instrument through the Skinner firm who then moved and installed it in 1938 for a depression price of $15,000. By 2006, the college’s organ department was waning and it was decided to sell the Skinner. It was purchased in 2008 by St. Anthony RC Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The market crash later that year put the project on hold, leaving the organ at Occidental. Ensuing pastors showed no interest and in 2015 it was reluctantly decided to sell the organ. Although a number of potential buyers stepped up, none had the necessary funding for such a project. In 2017, Episcopal High School purchased the Skinner for installation at their proposed new campus Chapel.
Removal took place in May 2018 with shop reconditioning commencing shortly after. Installation is projected to be completed in 2021, after the new Chapel is completed.