February 27, 2012

Stone Bank “Double-Wide”

Posted in Bottineau, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , at 6:53 pm by stonebankblog

YES. That is “our” Stone Bank — with an addition.

Historic photo of Stone Bank and an addition

The Stone Bank once had a very cool addition. The section to the right of the pillar was added on and shows in photos from the 1930s, and then it disappears.

We have no documentation of when that part of the building was constructed, but it was demolished and replaced after a fire — or two. (Roofers found charred roof timbers and the stone mason found soot on part of a stone wall at the back of the building.)

And one of our architects tells us that although the two sides of this building shared a facade that the interior spaces were not connected. By the time this photo was taken there was a dental office in the left side of the building.

Here’s the 1902 picture for comparison.

Bottineau County Bank from 1902 ad

The Stone Bank in a 1902, looking good on Bottineau's Main Street.

Initially, we thought the “double-wide” was the original Stone Bank, but when the 1902 photo surfaced, we realized that we DO have the original structure. If you scan down the left side of the building, you will see the building has been altered since the 1902 picture. (Note the configuration of the windows.)

Also note there is no pillar at the front entrance and you can see a sliver of daylight to the right of the building.

Stay tuned for more pictures. We’ll share them and the building’s history as we find them.


February 20, 2012

Posted in History, Life, Photos tagged , , , , at 1:56 pm by stonebankblog

Here’s a great post from our friends at the UWECPeru blog. And it’s not about stones or stone builders.

It’s about weaving your own life and story, beauty, and finding your voice and passion amid adversity. Hope you enjoy it. It’s pretty inspiring.

Weaving designed by Maximo Laura

Detail of a weaving designed by Maximo Laura

A weaving from Maximo Laura’s workshop in Lima

From prisoner to weaver to renowned artist: Máximo Laura.

UweC Peru

Like every day in Peru, our last day exceeded expectations. We flew from Cuzco back to Lima and bused directly from the airport to the home of Peru’s most acclaimed textile artist,  Máximo Laura. A longtime friend and associate of ArtAndes owner Melanie Ebertz, Laura gave us a tour of his workshop, where he employs about 15 weavers, and his personal collection of richly colored and textured wall hangings.

Laura grew up in the same mountainous Ayachuco area as Wilbur Quispe, and he likewise suffered persecution during Peru’s civil war with the Shining Path in the 1980s and ’90s. The government imprisoned him as a suspected Marxist, but when the war wound down, he took up weaving (as had four generations of his family before him) and raised it to an artform.

Moving beyond the natural dyes and fibers of his ancestors, Laura used modern synthetic threads and bright colors to give new life…

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February 18, 2012

Stone Soul Walk

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Pictures, Stone Work tagged , , , , at 8:29 pm by stonebankblog

Funny thing about stones. Once you start “seeing” them you see them everywhere — in all kinds of configurations. At least, that is the experience of your Stone Bank blogger — and apparently the experience of a good friend of the Stone Bank, who sent us this photo.

Interesting stone structure in Phoenix, AZ  with a golf ball topper.

How fun is this? Stone Bank friend Jane Winston spotted this interesting stone structure with a golf-ball topper on her a.m. walk near Phoenix and snapped this shot. Lovely.

Thanks for the charming photo, Jane.

How about our other Stone Bank fans? Do you have some interesting “stone” pictures? Or memories of the Stone Bank? We’d love to hear them.

Attach them to an email to touchstones.inc@gmail.com, and we’ll share them.

February 16, 2012

Stone Bank 1902

Posted in Bottineau, History, Main Street, Pictures, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 1:02 am by stonebankblog

Finding good pictures of the Stone Bank has proved to be an exasperating challenge. We have a few pictures that vaguely show the bank in a general Main Street shot. But that was all!

So, imagine your Stone Bank blogger’s delight at finding a copy of a 1902 book “Bottineau Illustrated 1901-1902,” tucked away in the reference section of the Bottineau County Library.

It had a single sentence about what was then known as Bottineau County Bank. But the big score was an ad with a picture of the bank. Ka-CHING!

To date, it’s the best “historic” picture we have found. And here it is!

Stone Bank circa 1902

The Stone Bank in 1902, when it was Bottineau County Bank.

Compare the profile of the bank in the 1902 photo to the more contemporary picture of the building, below. It’s clear the building was altered at some point. Where there was one arched window on the south side, there are now THREE. And the building is longer than in the historic photo. Interesting.

Stone Bank-Bottineau in 2011

This picture shows that at some point the Stone Bank grew a little. Note how the configuration of the windows on the building's long side have changed.

So. There you go. It’s a bit of a mystery, because we don’t have a lot of written history and precious few photos, but we learn as we go. And we will keep trying to discover the bank’s early history.

* Note: The back 20 feet of the building was dismantled in late 2011 and early this year. At the left of the picture, the area around the back two windows and door is temporarily gone.

February 13, 2012

What Comes Next?

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Renovation, Stone Work tagged , , , , , at 11:22 pm by stonebankblog

Your Stone Bank family is pleased at the progress we’ve made on saving our 1890s bank building. But what comes next?

Rebuilding, of course.

But that is going to take some time and — a bit of money. Quite a bit money.

As the back of the building was recently being dismantled, we got to see what was inside those two-foot-thick walls. Riprap, baby.

Inside the two-foot-thick walls at the Stone Bank

At the bottom of this picture you can see the "face stones" of the Stone Bank. The stuff inside the bank's walls is riprap -- stone, sand, brick and other material.

When the back section of the building is rebuilt — the area inside the walls will be very different. Concrete blocks will be used and the face stones will be placed atop them.

Here’s a picture of the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D., and it shows how the face stone is being reapplied over concrete blocks in that project.

Coghlan Castle near St. John, ND

The work to restore the Coghlan Castle shows the construction technique that we'll use on the Stone Bank. The bank's dismantled walls will be rebuilt of concrete blocks, too.

Here’s a link to and National Park Service site about the Coghlan Castle.

It’s a great project to save another marvelous North Dakota landmark. And our stone mason says that structure was in much worse condition than ours — and it’s being saved. We take that as a cue to keep moving forward.

Feeling generous? We have a PayPal link on our website: http://StoneBank.org

We love the encouragement.

February 8, 2012

All Things Stone

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, History, Pictures tagged , , , , at 11:49 pm by stonebankblog

If you are a fan of the Stone Bank Blog — you’re probably a marvelous, curious person with eclectic taste. And we’re not just buttering you up.

Well, anyway. As an eclectic sort you will likely be interested in a website dedicated to all things stone. Stonehenge. Stone circles. Forts, etc.

Check it out at http://stonepages.com.

Mystical Horizons near Bottineau, ND

Not Stonehenge. It's Mystical Horizons in North Dakota.

StonePages.com is certainly an interesting AND an easy way to while away an hour on the Internet.

Here’s a link to the Stonehenge webpage, too. www.stonehenge.co.uk

February 6, 2012

Open Your Heart to the Stone Bank

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, History, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by stonebankblog

Your Stone Bank blogger is working on the Stone Bank’s finances — and, well, our project is running on empty.

We had cost overruns with roofing and the dismantling of the back of the building. And we want to pay our contractors!

Can you give us a boost? Any amount will help and for anyone contributing $50 or more, your Stone Bank blogger will throw in a nifty and stylish Stone Bank T-shirt! (But, quantities are limited, so don’t dawdle.)

Stone Bank T-shirt

Our rockin' Stone Bank T-shirt! You should have one!

Go to http://StoneBank.org for our PayPal link or send a check to Touchstones, Inc. at 511 Ohmer St. in Bottineau, ND 58318.

(T-shirts come in women’s and men’s styles.)

Thanks for your interest in the Stone Bank!

February 5, 2012

Posted in History, Pictures, Stone Work at 1:47 pm by stonebankblog

Massive Inca-built temple at Raqchi

This huge Inca temple at Raqchi was mostly destroyed by the Spanish.

More great pictures of Inca stonework in Peru. As this team of young journalists report on their Peru trip — you will be treated to great travel stories. Click the “follow” button. And follow Stone Bank, too, if you aren’t already.

UweC Peru

Prominent on the road between Puno and Cusco are the world’s largest Inca temple ruins, at Raqchi. Central to the ruins is the Temple of Wiracocha, which is 300 feet long — the length of a U.S. football field — by about 80 feet wide and 60 feet high, with Inca stonework covering the first 13 feet high and adobe the rest. The Incas built the temple and surrounding quarters and granaries in the 15th century, only to have the Spanish conquistadors knock much of it down around 1540 and later build their own church in its shadow. Located on the ancient Inca Road in a beautiful valley still some 11,500 feet above sea level, Raqchi remains home to artisenias, farmers and small ranchers.

Slide show produced by Mike Dorsher. Photos by Sharon Kessler, Mike Dorsher, Lacey Weninger, Phyllis Highman and Megan Roltgen.

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All in the Numbers

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, History, Pictures, Stone Work tagged , , , , , at 2:19 am by stonebankblog

Like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, numbering stones for restoration work is creating a map for the stone mason. Excellent idea and as old as, well, Machu Picchu.

Here for instance. Two pictures of stone numbering as part of restoration projects.

Stone marked for removal at the Stone Bank. Note the beaded mortar between stones.

Stone 51 was saved for reuse at the Stone Bank in Bottineau.

Stone numbering at Machu Picchu

These numbered stones are in a restored wall at Machu Picchu.

Of course, it makes perfect sense to number the stones by row and sequence to put them back in the correct place. (So simple it’s genius.)

What we learned in Peru is that when a stone wall or structure is restored, preservation crews leave the numbering in place, so visitors know which areas are restored and which are in original condition.

When the rear section of the Stone Bank is rebuilt — we likely won’t preserve the numbers on the stones. But perhaps we will leave a mark somewhere inside or out to show the “rebuilding” line.

Remember to “like” our blog and “follow” our posts to keep up with our progress. In one way or another, it’s all about the numbers!

February 1, 2012

Inspired by Machu Picchu

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 1:58 pm by stonebankblog

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu taken from the start of the trail that leads UP to the Sun Gate.

Your Stone Bank blogger is just back from a trip to Peru — talk about stonework!

The Inca genius for stacking stone is AWESOME (an overused word and perfect in this case) Truly, Machu Picchu is awe-inspiring, breathtaking, incredible, dazzling.

The Incas are gone — but their buildings stand and bear witness to the fact that building with stone is building to last — a very long time.

Here’s a brief slideshow of our day at Machu Picchu.

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If you are interested in travel to Peru, check out Art Andes. Melanie Ebertz has been traveling and working in Peru since 1985. Here’s a link to her website.