December 24, 2011

Season’s greetings from close(r) to the North Pole

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:29 pm by stonebankblog

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Please keep the Stone Bank in mind among your end-of-the-year, tax-deductible donations. Be part of a Main Street legacy up here near the 49th parallel.

December 21, 2011

Loosen up and move

Posted in Dismantling the back, Pictures, Stone Work tagged , , , , at 11:39 pm by stonebankblog

Stone, that is. Brandon Person was at it again Wednesday — removing stone from the Stone Bank. He removed two courses (rows) of stones from the building’s south facade.

Stone Bank restoration underway in Bottineau, ND

Talk about a calorie burn! Brandon Person first used a crowbar to loosen the stones and then he lifted or rolled them onto the scaffold.

Two rows of stones removed from the south facade of the Stone Bank in Bottineau

From the scaffold, each course of stones will be stacked on a pallet and lowered to the ground and labled so they can be reused in the rebuilding process.

So far, the weather has been playing nice with us. It has been dry and quite mild for mid-December.

Watch this space for daily updates as the back of the bank is dismantled.

p.s. Speaking of calories — check out the assortment of bismarcks at the Family Bakery on Bottineau’s Main Street.

Lots of temptation at the Family Bakery in Bottineau, ND

Wow. Lots of choices if you have a hankering for a bismarck in Bottineau.


December 20, 2011

Calorie burning with Brandon

Posted in Dismantling the back, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , at 8:30 pm by stonebankblog

Brandon Person — a member of the stone mason’s crew — drew the short straw on Dec. 20 and had to separate the good stone from the lime, mortar, wood and other chaff that has piled up behind the Stone Bank.

He lugged, rolled and stacked the stones. He sorted and stacked the wood.

This guy deserves a jelly doughnut — or two.

With the refuse pile out of the way, work can continue on dismantling the back of the building.

Dismantling work at the Stone Bank-Bottineau

Work on the Stone Bank has created a debris field, which needed to be cleared to allow more work on the back wall. The large stones in the foreground will be reused.

Demolition of the back wall of the Stone Bank-Bottineau

Brandon Person sorted the reusable stones from those being recycled and separated the debris field into piles. He Frisbeed a reject to the right pile.

Stones that are too heavy to lift, get rolled into place.

Working alone, Brandon Person, rolled a large stone onto a pallet. These rocks are being saved for reuse. Asked how much the stone weighed, Brandon said: "A lot."

Stone from the Stone Bank will be repurposed.

Brandon held up a stone that could find new life on a book shelf. Stone mason Joe Whetter is going to turn some leftover stones into bookends this winter. Much of the stone will be reused, and the riprap (inside the walls) is being donated to the Bottineau County Road Department. It will be reused on road projects.

December 19, 2011

Stone Mason at Work

Posted in Stone Work -- video tagged , , , , , at 6:00 pm by stonebankblog

When your Stone Bank blogger last talked with our stone mason, Joe Whetter, he said the work that he is eager to do is to put the Stone Bank back together next year. Right now, however, he is still dismantling the stone facade on the back 20 feet of the building.

This video shows the heavy lifting involved. Each facestone is loaded onto a pallet with the other stones in its “course” (row).

The Stone Bank’s walls are about 2 feet thick, and some of the stones span from the outside wall to the inside; they are HEAVY.
Work will continue the week of Dec. 19. So far, the weather is cooperating. (Except for the fake snow on your screen.)

Let’s hear it for Joe and his crew. If you have questions, post them here, and I will get you the answers, if possible.

December 18, 2011

Stone Bank Puzzler

Posted in Promotions/Contests tagged , , , at 9:04 pm by stonebankblog

Dear Stone Bank Folowers: How about a couple of guesses about the Stone Bank Puzzle! Simple guess will do. It took longer than a week for the Amtrak passengers at the Rugby, ND station to fix it — but how much longer?

AND NOW THERE IS A PRIZE! Three of the Stone Bank wristbands. All the rage! So post your guess in the comments section.

December 17, 2011

Preservation Rocks in Bismarck

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank tagged , , , , at 10:22 pm by stonebankblog

“I shall wear it.”

That’s what Clay S. Jenkinson said when your Stone Bank blogger offered him a “Stone Bank/Preservation Rocks” wristband.

Jenkinson was signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Bismarck, and your Stone Bank blogger dropped by to get a signed copy of his new book, “The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness.”

Those of you unfamiliar with Jenkinson’s work should check out Jenkinson is an expert on Thomas Jefferson and “channels” Jefferson in this wonderful, weekly public radio show.

And he said that he would love to come to Bottineau and see the Stone Bank for himself! We’ll keep you posted if that comes true.

Stone Bank, Bottineau, North Dakota, bracelets, Clay Jenkinson

No. This is NOT Clay Jenkinson's wrist. It's the wrist of a young Stone Bank volunteer. Jenkinson is sporting the chocolate brown bracelet. What color do you want?

If you want your own Stone Bank bracelet, click the “Stone Bank Stuff” button on and order one or several. They are $2/each or 3 for $5. Shipping is FREE, and all proceeds benefit the Stone Bank project.

December 14, 2011

The Roof Yields a Clue

Posted in Roof tagged , , , , , , at 12:40 pm by stonebankblog

The Stone Bank has been rather obtuse as we try to find its history. Available records are vague, pictures are rare and there is no cornerstone to tell us exactly when it was built. (Sometime before 1900.)

But our general contractor Fred Kainz found a clue in the rafters as he was dismantling a section of the roof.

It involves a flap of roofing tar paper and a row of 2×4’s at almost exactly the spot where the back of the building has begun to sink.

This is also where the nice stone foundation ends and the dugout part of the basement begins. Hmmm. This must be where an extension of the building was tacked on. Or stoned on.

Here’s a video of Fred describing the change in the roof.

December 13, 2011

Open to the Stars

Posted in Inside Stone Bank, Renovation tagged , , , , , at 8:47 pm by stonebankblog

Your Stone Bank blogger clambered up the scaffolding and onto the roof today with general contractor Fred Kainz to get a progress report on the removal of roof beams on the back of the Stone Bank.

Great view AND a positive progress report. That’s worth a climb to the roof.

By 4 p.m. today, Fred had liberated all but two of the beams.

demolition, Stone Bank, history, Bottineau, North Dakota

A pile of roof beams covered the floor of the Stone Bank's back room on Tuesday.
At right is the temporary wall that will close the rest of the building this winter.
At top, the stubs of the roof beams remain embedded in the north wall.
The building's back was is at left,
and the Stone Bank blogger is standing on the top of the scaffold -- gulp.

Fred noted that some of the beams were sagging from the weight of many layers of asphalt roofing. But this wipes the slate clean — really clean.

With the beams removed, our stone mason will be able to continue dismantling the stone facade on the back 20 feet of the building. We’ll keep you posted on the progress.

December 12, 2011

Stone Bank Puzzler

Posted in Promotions/Contests tagged , , , , , at 11:38 pm by stonebankblog

It seemed like a great idea. A puzzle!

Such symbolism. Such a challenge. Such fun.

And such a great way to raise money for the Stone Bank project.

Only five were made — and we donated one to the Amtrak station in Rugby, N.D., where there is always a puzzle in the waiting area. (The station master even keeps track of how long each puzzle takes to finish.)

Here’s how it looked after Week 1.

Puzzle of the Stone Bank-Bottineau

It only has 252 pieces, but it's a tough puzzle. The image is of one of the bank's arched windows with the words "Stone Bank" and our slogan "Preservation Rocks" along with
our Web address

Comment on this blog post about how long it will take for the Amtrak waiting room puzzle to be completed. (No cheating.)

Oh, and No Prize. Just the fun of guessing.

Take into your calculation that the train has been running on time, so passengers don’t have a long stay in the waiting room. Hmmm.

December 11, 2011

What’s Going on Here?

Posted in Dismantling the back, Videos tagged , , , , at 12:22 pm by stonebankblog

Link to video of the demolish of the Stone Bank back wall

VIDEO: It really is addition by subtraction. The Stone Bank's back wall is coming down so we can get at the foundation and fix it. It's not pretty -- but it must be done.

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