June 15, 2014
Talk about a happy accident! Your Stone Bank blogger sat down to breakfast on the Amtrak recently with two strangers. But we weren’t strangers for long. Deb and Kath were great breakfast companions — and they loved the story of the Stone Bank.
When Deb returned home to Wisconsin, she ordered a Stone Bank T-shirt from StoneBank.org.
Deb reports that she loves her shirt and she sent this photo!
This is the year that we plan to raise the back section of the bank and put the roof on. Join us on the journey! Every T-shirt sale helps. Don’t want a T-shirt? Dedicate a stone or just make a contribution.
Let’s get this done! Your donation will make a difference.
Thanks for your support.
June 12, 2014
As you might recall from our earlier blog posts, it was immigrants from Scotland, Scandinavia, Ireland and Canada who built the Stone Bank in 1900. Now, 114 years later, it’s visitors from Nepal, Cambodia, Cuba, India and Germany — not to mention Minnesota and Wisconsin — who are helping to renovate the Stone Bank building.
A team of eight Fulbright Scholars, plus four of their family members, came to Bottineau this week to visit a part of the U.S. they had never seen before and volunteer their services on the historic Stone Bank Project. The 12 of them spent two long days scraping, sanding and priming every wood window frame on the building.
Many hands make short(er) work, and now the window frames will at least stop deteriorating — until we have the funds to replace them with new windows that are energy efficient yet historic looking. We can’t thank the Fulbrighters enough for their efforts, which were beyond the call of duty even for them.
But we did give them each a spiffy Stone Bank “Preservation Rocks!” T-shirt. We’ll give you one, too, if you come work on our renovation project. Or if you can’t make it to Bottineau anytime soon, you can still get a Stone Bank T-shirt here, for a donation of $15 or more. Please consider donating much more, just as the Fulbrighters did, because we have $60,000 worth of work to do on the building’s exterior this year, and we need to at least match our new $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
You don’t have to be from Kathmando or Phnom Penh to donate time or money to the Stone Bank Project. We’re happy to take contributions from Bottineau or Bismarck, too. Make yours today, and you’ll feel as smart as a Fulbright Scholar by tomorrow!
June 8, 2014
You are looking at a group of ROCKSTARS!
Our Fulbright volunteers showed up, gloved up and got to work on the windows at the Stone Bank today! (They hail from a number of countries including Germany, Cuba, India and Senegal.
Twelve pairs of hands — and four local volunteers have given a big boost to this project, which is being operated on a shoestring.
You may not be near enough to grab a paint scraper or a can a paint, but you can show the Stone Bank some love with a donation.
We have a lot of work to do in 2014 that must be done by “paid” contractors. So, please: Dedicate a Stone. Make a $15 donation, and we will thank you with one of our Stone Bank T-shirts. Or just send a donation.
Every dollar goes into restoring this delightful and irreplaceable stone building.
As always. Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.
June 7, 2014
Hey, everyone! It’s been too long! Lots going on at the Stone Bank. Here’s the latest:
Volunteers are descending on the Stone Bank on Sunday, June 8, to tackle a really tough project — they are going to scrape, sand, prime and paint the Stone Bank’s windows.
These are very special volunteers — a group of Fulbright scholars from the Minnesota/ND chapter — who are taking a tour of North Dakota and making time to lend a hand in the community. We couldn’t be happier!
We know that the windows will have to be replaced — but that is later. We need to rebuild the back section of the building and then move on to projects like the windows. In the meantime, they will look better, thanks to this crew of volunteers. Some local volunteers are going to help, too. We will post more as the project takes shape.
Free labor is a great thing. But the Stone Bank needs cash to buy paint and other supplies. We need to match a new grant from the Historical Society of ND, too. Can you help? Every donation helps. Hey, look! There is a PayPal link on this page. (For your convenience.)
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
February 17, 2014
Have you ever noticed that some people have a knack for wearing just the right thing no matter what the occasion?
Our Stone Bank friend, Jeff, has that knack! He wears his Stone Bank T-shirt a lot.
Be like Jeff! Order your Stone Bank T-shirt today. Your donation of $15 or more will bring the T to your closet, and your donation will help us continue the restoration of the beautiful Stone Bank.
We have got PayPal and Razoo for online payment — or you can send us a check. Then send us a photo wearing your shirt. We would love to publish it here.
It really is a T-shirt for all occasions. And the Stone Bank is here to stay. Help us finish the project with your donation. Check out the colors and sizes on our website.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
January 19, 2014
Oh, how it makes the Stone Bank blogger happy to see a great old building with a new lease on life.
Right there on Main Street in Red Wing, Minn., is a Caribou Coffee in a red brick railway station from 1906. Not too crazy about the interior, but it’s just great to see this building standing, sturdy and useful. Hurrah.
Don’t you love a timeline? Here are the details:
We want the same for our Stone Bank. Sturdy and useful and IN USE for the next 100 years or more.
For comparison’s sake: Bottineau County Bank (what we now call the Stone Bank) was founded in 1887. The Stone Bank was built in the last six months in 1900 — and replaced an earlier wood-frame building. It was Bottineau’s first bank, which failed in 1923. The building had many uses over the years and most recently was a lawyer’s office. We know that our restoration project will give it a new life in the next couple of years.
Do you have a favorite restored building in your home town or someplace you have visited? What was it built for and how is it now used? Send a photo and we will post it.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. Comments and contributions always welcome.
December 31, 2013
It has been a really busy year at the Stone Bank — and it has been a year where we have made important progress — and have done a LOT of heavy lifting.
- Our stone mason finished dismantling the back section of the bank in the spring of 2013.
- We did some problem-solving around the issue of putting in a new foundation during the summer months, which included shoring up the foundation of the neighboring building and dealing with a wet spot.
- Wonderful Monte Mikkelsen and his crew from Mikkelsen Aggregates donated time and equipment to excavate the pit for the new foundation.
- Footings were poured and the new foundation began to rise in the fall, where none had existed before.
- By late in the fall, the foundation was up to grade and we are in a great position to finish raising the back section in 2014.
We couldn’t have done it without support from the Historical Society of ND and donations from Otter Tail Power, the Bottineau County Board, Preservation ND, Turtle Mountain Communications, St. Michel Furniture, the State Bank of Bottineau and dozens of individuals who made donations, dedicated a stone, bought T-shirts and volunteered their time to help move the project forward. Thank you!
But — we need to ask again. Can you write another check? We plan to make big progress in 2014. For starters, we will complete rebuilding the back 20 feet of the building and put the roof on. Then we need to get the old bank ready for its new life with plumbing and heating and renovating the interior!
Early in 2014, we are going to begin the process of finding a tenant or tenants for this swell building. Any ideas? We would love to hear them.
We are so excited for the Stone Bank’s potential to be a historic anchor for Bottineau’s Main Street. But we can’t get it done without community support. Remember, Touchstones, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donation is tax deductible.
So end 2013 with a glad tidings of support for the Stone Bank. This project is preserving a piece of Bottineau history — and helping the building play a role in Bottineau’s future.
Our fundraising goal for 2014 is $50,000. Every dollar helps.
Let’s keep it going! The hardest part is behind us and the fun part is here.
Our mailing address is: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318
Or you can make a donation online using PayPal or Razoo. Links are on the right column of this page.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.
December 6, 2013
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela.
We are inspired by his patience and wisdom.
It isn’t impossible. We will get it done.
November 30, 2013
The moment you’ve all been waiting for … our last post for National Blog Posting Month 2013.
Before we close out the month, we’d like to thank everyone who shared this journey, commented and sent photos. Your input made it a lot more fun to come up with 30 daily posts. Don’t be shy — we are always open to ideas, photos and commentary for months without a theme.
We also need to thank a few more wonderful Stone Bank friends — who are there when we need them. They have championed our project, worked for little or no pay and have been total rock stars!
Of course, there are countless others who have stepped up, donated and said a kind word. It’s good to pause and remember that this really is a community project — and we are grateful for every kindness and courtesy. We truly wouldn’t have made this happen without you.
But we are not done. So, stay tuned. Dedicate a stone. Buy a T-shirt. Wish us well.
We wanted to end #NaBloPoMo with a bang. So, here it is.
Thanks for your support.
November 29, 2013
Oh, it is so good to see people of good taste wearing our Stone Bank T-shirt. Why, here’s someone now!
Don’t stand in line at the mall this holiday season — order your Stone Bank T online today. They make a great holiday surprise, and every purchase of a Stone Bank T goes to help rebuild and repurpose the Stone Bank in Bottineau, N.D. We would love to publish a photo of someone wearing a Stone Bank T in all 50 states. Let’s get going. Order a shirt and then send the picture.
Jean not only follows this blog, but she has a blog — The Tuxedo Files. She ruminates on all kinds of things, but mostly it’s a writer’s blog, where she shares parts of her novels with us. Be sure to check it out.
It’s Day 29 of #NaBloPoMo and we are kind of happy to see the month drawing to a close. There’s always a lot to talk about — but life is busy, and daily blogging is really a commitment. See you back here tomorrow.