December 28, 2012

Rockin’ Out 2012

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:04 pm by stonebankblog

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

Peek-a-boo! Behind the North Wall — another wall. The concrete block wall of the building next door is framed by stones of the Stone Bank’s North Wall.  The first step in the dismantling process.

Seriously, we don’t want no trouble here.

The Stone Bank’s North wall abuts the wall of another downtown building. So, our stone mason is proceeding with caution as he  begins to dismantle the wall.

Today, after he pulled some stone and fill from the North wall, Joe Whetter, our stone mason, described what he found behind it as ” good concrete block wall behind  2 foot thick stone wall.”

The stone wall is the Stone Bank’s North Wall, the “good concrete block wall” belongs to the building next door.

Whew!  That means we are good to go — go carefully.  Now, Joe will dismantle 20 feet of the North wall and the remaining above-grade foundation at the back of the Stone Bank.

Deconstruction at rear of Stone Bank building in Bottineau, ND

The exposed wall at left is what we call the North wall. It is being dismantled to make way for a foundation repair on the Stone Bank. The above-above grade foundation is also being removed.

It does seem strange that moving these heavy stones is actually delicate work. But so it is. Here’s a video from December 2011, as Joe and crew took down the Stone Bank’s  South wall.

And it’s cold work. But Joe isn’t talking about the cold. He is focused on getting the North Wall down and prepping the site for foundation work in the spring.

As part of the work going on now, our contractor, Fred Kainz, will remove the rotted flooring (water damage) from the back of the building, too.

And then we will be ready for the next step: Putting a new foundation under the back section of the building. Then the plan is to raise the back of the building and reapply the face stones. So, it will look the same as it has for 112 years, but it will be sturdier than ever.

Local donors have helped us match a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. And yet, we need to raise another $25,000 to get the back of the building put back together.

Excavation and footings:  $4,110.

Foundation walls: $6,444.

Materials to rebuild 20 foot section of building: $12,000.

You know, all the little things add up.

If you know an angel, send ’em our way.  If you want to make a year-end tax-deductible contribution, sent it our way.  Tell your friends. Wish us well. Kiss the Blarney Stone and send us some luck. Whatever it takes.

You can make an online donation with PayPal or Razoo, using the links on this page.  Or send a check to  Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

We are an all-volunteer nonprofit and every donation is spent on the project. Good bang for your buck!

As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog, we are always rockin’ with news of the Stone Bank Project.


December 20, 2012

112 and Counting!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 11:40 pm by stonebankblog

December 21, 1900

The local paper touted the good news. Bottineau County Bank was ready for business.

The local paper touted the good news. Bottineau County Bank was ready for business.

Today is a big deal for the Stone Bank family, because it is the 112th anniversary of when Bottineau County Bank’s staff moved from their temporary quarters into the charming, stone building that we now call the Stone Bank.

More amazing, because construction on the stone building had taken fewer than six months.  Bottineau Courant  Editor Scott Wagar searched old newspapers and found the details.

And 100 years from now, or next year, we can celebrate the anniversary of when work continued to dismantle a stone wall to make way for a new foundation. Pictures and details coming soon. Or scroll down to the next post and learn more about the status of our project.

It’s cooooooooooooooold in North Dakota, so wish our stone mason and his crew well as they work on the Stone Bank over the next couple of weeks.  We still need to raise about $15,000 to dig the foundation in the spring and raise the back of the building again. We saved the stone, and the Stone Bank will look the same, but the nagging structural flaw will be fixed.

We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit, so if you are looking for a great, historic project for an end-of-year charitable contribution — we would be most grateful.

Here’s another little item from the Bottineau newspaper in 1900.

Item from 1900 newspaper

Not much has changed in 112 years. Shops on Bottineau’s Main Street in 2012 still have a great gift selection.

Best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season from your friends at the Stone Bank! And a special virtual hug to all the generous folks who share the dream of seeing the Stone Bank reborn and put back to use!

December 12, 2012

December Story

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Endangered buildings, History, Photos tagged , , , , at 10:41 pm by stonebankblog

The Stone Bank’s story seems to have a lot of December in it.

For starters, the original building was completed in December 1900. Here’s a blog post about the Stone Bank’s beginning.

Fast forward about 111 years, and it’s December 2011. And the nonprofit group  working to restore the building decides that to save the building and return it to use  the back 20 feet  must be dismantled to get at a structural problem.  Brr. It’s clear and cold as the stone mason begins the work , stone by stone,  to take apart  the back of the building.

About 20 feet of the Stone Bank's south wall was dismantled starting in December 2011.

Stones from the south wall were numbered and stacked starting in December 2011. The hand-hewn stones will be reused when the back section of the building rises again.

Fundraising and planning occupied the Stone Bank’s supporters during most of 2012, but now, at last, the project is moving forward again. In the next few days, our stone mason has another December date with the Stone Bank.  He will begin the work to dismantle 20 feet of the Stone Bank’s north wall. This wall was left standing, but it must make way for foundation repairs in 2013.

Stone Bank dismantling project in Bottineau, ND

The stone wall at the left is what we call the north wall. It will be taken apart in the next couple of weeks, as will be the remainder of the raised foundation on the south and west sides.

Yep. December is cold. But it seems to be the hot season for work on the Stone Bank. Get this: Joe, our stone mason, says he doesn’t mind working in the cold. Why? Well, lifting stones is hot work.

So wish the bank and this project “Happy Birthday” with a card and a check.  The work to dismantle the north wall will cost about $4,000. Can you help with a donation?

The Stone Bank Project is an all-volunteer effort — every donated dollar goes into restoring this historic building.   There are links to  PayPal and Razoo at right for online giving.  If you’re sending a check, the Stone Bank’s mailing address is 524 Main St., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

The Stone Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit — so your gift is not only deeply appreciated — it’s tax deductible!

Watch this space for updates as the dismantling project continues. As always, do like the Stone Bank and “Rock On!”