April 25, 2012

It’s All About Craft

Posted in History, Life, Photos, Stone Work at 3:30 pm by stonebankblog

Peru! It’s a country overflowing with stonework and handicrafts.

If you haven’t been there already — add it to your bucket list today.

Craftswoman in Chinchero, Peru, Inca stonework is still in everyday use in this small city.

Chincero, Peru, is the home of Centro de Tejedoras Chinchero -- a weaving cooperative. This weaver stands on a street built by Inca hands in the still thriving community.

What does Peru have to do with the Stone Bank? In North Dakota?

Simply put. It’s craftsmanship.

Our 110+year-old stucture — the Stone Bank — is “old” for us, but it’s a baby compared with the majestic and inspiring stone stuctures left by the Incas and other ancient builders of Peru.

What the Stone Bank does have in common with the work of the Incas is that it was built to last!  The Stone Bank is at least 112 years old — and it has incredible sturdiness. With our work to restore it, we’ll give it another 100 or more years.

Here’s a link to a video that shows how it resisted efforts to take down the back wall. Stone Bank dismantling video

When repairs are complete — the Stone Bank should stand, sturdy and proud as a reminder of  and a monument to our pioneer heritage — much like the stone structures and ruins across Peru are a tangible link to the ancient master stone builders.

Beyond Peru’s stonework, there are the fine rug makers, knitters and weavers making marvelous textiles. These are contemporary people using ancient patterns and techniques to make marvelous textiles. This isn’t stuff from a factory or a discount store — these crafts  will last. These are things of real value; things to treasure.

Some students from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have just put up a website that details a trip they took to Peru — and what they brought home with them — memories of the people, music, crafts  and history of Peru. “We are All Woven Together” is their theme.  It’s a theme that stretches all the way to the Stone Bank. In North Dakota!

Weaving Peru website

If you haven’t added Peru to your bucket list before you click the link — you probably will do so after.

And if you have a minute, tell us what you value in art, craft and historic preservation.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!


April 24, 2012

Look Where You’re Going!

Posted in Life, Updates at 12:58 pm by stonebankblog

Some ideas are universal — and they can apply to horseback riding or to restoring a stone building.

Blogger Susan Kiernan Lewis always has something interesting to say — which is why I follow her blog. But this particular post really spoke to me — because, in the Stone Bank, we have a big task ahead and we will need to keep our eyes on our goal so we don’t stumble or make a wrong turn.

It appears the same applies when mounted on a horse and urging it to jump over an obstacle.

It’s fun reading — so here you go.

Rock on! Ride on!

Susan Kiernan-Lewis

“It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

Not just  a great first line, but a comforting thought.  Don’t you love universal truths? Or truths we all buy into? I do because it means  the fact that there are truths we all acknowledge as true means we can look to a universally accepted blueprint for how to live our lives. One of the places I look for these universal truths is at the barn. I look there because it’s one of my many opinions that there is no group of people on earth with more quotes relating to living your life than horse people. For example, there is the one about how to jump fences on horseback which, when you think about it, really applies to anything in life that you tackle that’s a little scary but worth doing. It goes like this: “Throw your heart over first, and the horse will…

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April 15, 2012

Setting a Great Example

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , at 11:39 pm by stonebankblog

Lucky! That’s how we feel at the Stone Bank when we consider our architect.

Why? Because Bobbi Hepper Olson has done this before.

Seriously. Been there. Done that.

Hepper Olson has her own stone bank — in Buxton, ND. She tackled a project much more daunting than ours.  When she took on the project in 2005, the floor had collapsed and there was a mold problem. She not only persisted and accomplished the restoration, but she found an adaptive re-use for the bank. It’s now part-museum, part-community meeting space — and she added space to the back for her architecture firm.

The Buxton Bank — built in 1893 — is very similar in style to our Stone Bank.  But that’s likely because the size of Buxton and Bottineau dictated the size of the banks, and because of prevailing  building styles of the 1890s. But that’s just a theory.

Bobbi knows a bit more about the history of her bank — and she can show you the bullet holes from a 1933 robbery that left one of the bank’s cashiers dead. The robbery was never solved.

Here’s a slideshow of the Buxton Bank — restored and in use. It’s a great example for us as we work toward that very goal on another stone building about 200 miles to the northwest.

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Bobbi has a nice website about her project. Check it out at http;//BuxtonInBloom.com

Lucky? Yes. The Stone Bank is very lucky to have an architect who really has been there and done this before.

We’ll also feel lucky if you “Like” this post.

April 3, 2012

The Long View

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Promotions/Contests, Updates tagged , , at 4:07 pm by stonebankblog

What do we have here? It’s the Stone Bank’s backside! (Tee-hee.)

This picture shows how far we have come and how much we have to do in 2012.

The stones stacked and wrapped in the foreground were saved when the back 20 feet of the bank was dismantled. Saved? Yes. The stones will be reused when we rebuild the back section of the bank over a new foundation. The stone wall to the left in this photo will also be dismantled as part of this year’s work. (Sadly, it’s too damaged to salvage.)

Stone Bank in Bottineau ND with the back 20 feet dismantled.

The Stone Bank in Bottineau, ND minus part of the south wall and the west (back) wall. Pallets of stones are being stored on the site for re-use.

In addition to the QR code posted in three of the bank’s windows, we have also attached a banner to the temporary wall in the back of the building guiding passersby to our Web page. Never been there? Check it out at www.StoneBank.org.

We are excited to get to work on the project this building season, and we made the deadline last week  to submit a grant proposal to the Historical Society of North Dakota. Whew!

But a grant from the Historical Society won’t pay full freight. We’re searching for other funding sources, too. Any ideas? Leave a comment and we will look into all good ideas. Oh, and your Stone Bank Blogger will send a little stone from the bank to the reader offering the best idea! (LITTLE, I promise.)

And, as always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!