July 24, 2012

Stone Bank with Effects!

Posted in Bottineau, History, Life, Main Street, Photos tagged , , at 4:51 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s face it. The Stone Bank is very photogenic. Has  been for 112 years.

The play of light and clouds gives the stones a different look every single day of  the year — so no matter how many pictures we shoot, we always see something new.

A couple of days ago, your Stone Bank Blogger and her b.f. spent some time at the bank, trying to catch its many shadows and colors on a sunny day.

The b.f. also discovered the “effects” button on his new camera and had some fun with it. (You know how it is. Give a man a button — and he’ll push it.) Anyway, these photos show off the Stone Bank in a new light, and we thought you’d like to see them.

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Indeed, it was 112 years ago this month that work began on the Stone Bank. Think of all that has changed in the world over those 112 years. And here stands the Stone Bank looking smart, strong and youthful and giving us a glimpse of how things were done all those years ago.

If you are so disposed, send along a symbolic donation of $19.00 for the year 1900. Or $112 for the bank’s age. Or any and all numbers in between — or above.

We have work to do this year on the Stone Bank and need some donations to make that happen.

As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.


July 20, 2012

No flowers? No card? Our 1st Anniversary

Posted in Bottineau, Life, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 5:44 pm by stonebankblog

Uh-oh. There’s trouble when you forget an anniversary — and your Stone Bank Blogger was so distracted by the clouds yesterday that a Touchstones’ anniversary went unmentioned.

On July 19, 2011, Touchstones purchased the Stone Bank from its owner of 50 years.

It’s been a whirlwind year and we’ve made a lot of progress. We couldn’t have made it without the support and thoughtful work of our architect, contractor and stone mason.

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So let’s stop, draw breath and raise a  “Happy Anniversary” toast to the Stone Bank — now in its 112th year.

And remember, the first anniversary is the “paper” anniversary.  So, if you have some green paper (as in cash) you want to send our way. We won’t object.

After the first blush of love, our second year will be one in which we  build a stronger foundation under the Stone Bank.

If you can help, click the PayPal link in the right-hand column, or send a check to Touchstones, 524 Main St., Bottineau, ND 58318.

Confetti! Rice! Air kisses!  And thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

July 19, 2012

Fabulous Clouds — No Rain

Posted in Bottineau, Life, Photos tagged , , at 10:40 pm by stonebankblog

One of the great things about North Dakota is the sky.

Sure, there is sky everywhere — but here on the plains you can really SEE the sky. Experience in it in all its glory.

This evening was one of those times for slowing down and gawking as roiling, colorful, fast-moving clouds rolled by.

Sunset near Bottineau, ND on July 19, 2012

A sweltering day gave way to a breezy evening with great thunderheads rolling past. The clouds turned creamy and peachy as the sun set. Simply awesome.

Sadly, the clouds only spit a little as they put on their show.  We could use a little cloudburst right about now.

Also, your Stone Bank Blogger accidentally deleted the best picture — so this is second best, but still lovely.

Anyway, wherever you are. Take a moment to watch the clouds or study the stars. It’s a great way to wind down after a hot summer day.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.

July 18, 2012

Totally Jazzed!

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, History, Life, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 2:01 pm by stonebankblog

OK. Let’s take a break from talking about stone and talk about jazz.

Heck, let’s take a break from everything and listen to jazz. How about LIVE jazz? And, well, the admission is FREE.

Dean McNeill

Dean McNeill, a University of Saskatchewan professor and International Music Camp teacher, will be among the performers on Friday.

If you’re interested, gas up the car and head to the International Peace Garden on Friday evening.

That’s where the faculty of the Music Camp‘s jazz week will be playing a concert.

In all, 17 professional musicians — 5 trumpets, 5 saxophones, 3 trombones, guitar, drums, piano and bass. The band makes gorgeous music.

All the details are in this story, which ran today in the Brandon Sun.

Too tired to read? How about listening to this story from Prairie Public Radio?

The Peace Garden and Music Camp are about 30 miles from the Stone Bank.

OK. Now back to the Stone Bank.

You really didn’t think we weren’t going to talk about the Stone Bank, did you?

We’re jazzed to celebrate the beginnings of our stone building — the project began 112 years ago this month.We’d love to get a few birthday cards with checks inside. How about a symbolic $19.00 donation to mark the year that the construction started?

Or $112 for every year that the Stone Bank has been standing.  Now, that would be totally jazzy!

Stone mason Joe Whetter

Stone mason Joe Whetter  worked in the cold last fall to dismantle part of the Stone Bank. He is ready to put it back together — but we need the money to pay him. Can you help?

We’ve got a PayPal link on this page — and/or you can mail your well-wishes to 524 Main Street in Bottineau, ND 58318.

See you at the Peace Garden on Friday — and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!

July 16, 2012

Happy 112th Birthday, Stone Bank!

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 3:30 pm by stonebankblog

Here’s the cool thing — 112 years ago this month, work began on the stone building that we now call the Stone Bank.

Pioneer craftsmen shaped each stone on the building’s facade by hand. And the building was completed, COMPLETED,  before Christmas 1900.

The Stone Bank was built as Bottineau County Bank in 1900 — it took local workers less than six months to complete. Wow!

It was an astounding feat. A 60′ x 20′ building of hand-hewn stones built in a half-year. A building that has stood the test of time.

Now we face our own test. We must rebuild the back section of the building this year — and we hope it gets done long before Christmas.

What will it take? Money to pay our modern-day craftsmen. We have $20,000 in grant money from the Historical Society of ND and  $5,000 from Preservation ND.  But the cost to rebuild the back of the building over a new foundation is just short of $65,000.

Every penny will help. So, how about a symbolic donation? $19.00  or $112 to help move our work along. (You know, $19 for the year 1900, or $112 for all 112 years of the Stone Bank’s existence. Or, $5,000 — just because!.)

Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant recently found a trove of info about the bank’s beginning. This is how we know that it’s time to celebrate the building’s birthday.  Check out Scott’s article here  and a story about Scott here!

Here are some pictures of the bank over time and one showing the work to be done this year.

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Can you help? Please click the PayPal link in the right column or send a check to the Stone Bank Project, 524 Main Street, Bottineau, ND 58318

July 11, 2012

Coghlan Castle — The Next Step

Posted in Endangered buildings, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 12:51 pm by stonebankblog

$5 million! That’s how much it would take to completely repair and restore the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D.

Not going to happen, says Becky Leonard, the spark plug behind saving this striking and rare stone building.

Becky and other Coghlan Castle fans have worked hard to stabilize the building and to make critical repairs to keep it standing. More stone will be reattached to the facade — but, for now, that’s about where the project will stand.

This year’s goal is to install an interpretive sign near the castle, so interested passersby can stop, take a look and go away knowing “what the heck that building is.”

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I have misplaced my notes from my lunch with Becky, who has been involved in historic preservation for years. But she is to be complimented for pushing hard to save this building.

She said the the architect hopes to some day finish one room in the castle, so people can get inside and see it. Right now, the stone restoration work will continue and the interpretive sign will likely be placed this summer.

The truth is that we can’t always bring a building all the way back — but this is a great intermediary stop. Save the structure and keep dreaming.

I often think of the pioneers and dreamers who built these fantastic stone buildings for us to enjoy more than 100 years later. Dream on.

If I ever win the lottery — I’m sending a big, fat donation to the Coghlan Castle restoration.

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

And, here’s a link to an earlier Stone Bank Blog post that shows how we are repairing the Stone Bank’s walls in much the same way as employed at the Coghlan Castle.

What do you think? We’re always interested to hear from readers.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

July 7, 2012

Stone Quote #3

Posted in Bottineau, History, Life, Stone Quotes, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , , at 6:48 pm by stonebankblog

International Peace Garden

Another great quote etched in limestone at the Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden.

Isn’t this a great quote?

The Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden never ceases to inspire. Depending on my mood or the day or current events a different quote strikes me as “more” meaningful on every visit.

At the Stone Bank, we are working to raise $40,000 to help raise (rebuild) the back of our building this year.

“The only hope of preserving what is best lies in the practice of an immense charity…”

It’s as simple as that. We think the Stone Bank is “the best,” and we are working hard to keep it standing for another 112 years. We could use “immense charity” to get going on this year’s  work. Remember, the Stone Bank is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization — so your contribution is tax-deductible.

What’s the plan? A sketch of the overall plan is here. (Scroll to the second half of the story for the plan!)

Want to review earlier quotes? Stone Quote #1 and Stone Quote #2.

Want to make a donation? Click the DONATE NOW icon in the right column. Or send a check to Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, Bottneau, ND 58318!

Fossil embedded in limestone panel at the Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden.

July 4, 2012

Celebrating the 4th — and 3rd — Stone Bank way

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Life at 12:57 pm by stonebankblog

Happy Independence Day from the Stone Bank

How about some news from 1899 — as one newspaper editor urged the city’s founders to plan a celebration?

From the June 9, 1899, Bottineau News — a call to action!

Bottineau News masthead 1899

Bottineau News item 6.9.1899

From the same day’s newspaper a paragraph below:

Bottineau News, 6.9.1899

A week later — ACTION. From the June 16, 1899, Bottineau News — the town founders appoint a committee.

(Funny how little things change, eh?)

Bottineau News item 6.16.1899

Now, can anyone tell me — without looking it up — what the heck is a Calathumpian parade?

Well, it looks like they got organized and had a July 4th celebration in 1899.

Just over a year later, in July 1900, work began on the “fine stone building” we now call the Stone Bank.

In 2012, a splendid and well-attended July 3 fireworks display drew a good crowd to nearby Lake Metigoshe, straddling the U.S.-Canadian border. Perhaps 100 or more speedboats and pontoons floated in the bay, and hundreds more gathered along the shoreline to watch the bombs bursting in air over Masonic Island. The night was sultry. and a full moon rose behind a thin veil of clouds to watch over the event.

Can’t tell you why the 4th is celebrated on the 3rd here. I suspect it has something to do with the annual Skinautiques waterskiing show at Lake Metigoshe being scheduled for last night — but that’s just a guess. The Stone Bank blogger’s b.f. said he overheard a girl of about 5 quizzing her mother about this very topic. “Why do we have fireworks on July 3rd for the 4th of July?” the girl asked between oohs and aahs. “Because then families can celebrate together on the 4th,” the mom said. “Aren’t we a family?” the girl said, looking over at her dad and brother. “Of course,” mom said. “Well, I wish we could cell-a-bate tonight, because I like these fireworks!”

Wherever you and your family are, and however you celebrate, have a happy and safe 4th of July!

July 3, 2012

Rockin’ Relics!

Posted in Photos, Renovation tagged , , , , , at 12:45 am by stonebankblog

Rock ON, Rugby!

Sure, Rugby, ND, is the Geographical Center of North America. But the cool doesn’t stop there.

Rugby has a great old movie theater, some fine stone buildings, a vintage train station and Rockin’ Relics — a Pioneer era hardware store that is now a rockin’ soda fountain. A 1940s themed soda fountain is a 1900-era building. Delightful.

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At the StoneBankBlog, we are always interested in great examples of adapting and reusing old buildings.  Rockin’ Relics is not only a great example — it’s only 40 miles from the Stone Bank.

The food is yummy, too. Your StoneBankBlogger had a “Jerry Lee Lewis” sandwich — which was totally — you know —  ROCKIN’. 

Isn’t it great to see an appreciation for and inspired use of this old hardware store?

Our Stone Bank is a rockin’ relic itself — and we could use your help getting back to work on the restoration. Click the PayPal link and send us some love !

Click on like or make a comment. And as always, thanks for reading the StoneBankBlog!