July 5, 2018

Still looking for the Class of ’72

Posted in Class of '72 Challenge, Endangered buildings, Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 12:11 pm by stonebankblog

IMG_8455

This is much more fun than the prom was!

A little over a year ago, we challenged the BHS Class of ’72 to lead the way with donations to the Stone Bank restoration project. And we challenged other BHS classes to match our effort. What fun it has been to reconnect with classmates and take a few of them on a tour of the building! Most important, we have received some donations to continue work on the building.

But we haven’t heard from many of our classmates. In some cases, we haven’t been able to find their current addresses, email or phone numbers. If you have a sibling or friend from our class, please tell them we would love to hear from them — or send us a tip or contact info to touchstones.inc@gmail.com.

In 2022, our class will celebrate its 50th reunion, and we would love to celebrate our class’s leadership in putting this historic building back together again. Let’s do this.

And we challenge other classes to meet or exceed our class’s gifts to the project, which so far stands at $1,300.

Envision the destination

building elevation snip

This is the architect’s rendering of what the building will look like when we put it back together again. We took down 20 feet of the building to put a foundation under it, and added an extra 9 feet to make room for a rear entry with a handicap lift (left third of drawing). We only need to raise $60,000 to enclose the back section and get the roof on. With your help, we can get this done. Send a check today to: Touchstones, Inc., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318. Online giving options available at StoneBank.org.

Come on Class of ’72. Let’s inspire other classes to join us in this effort.

 

Advertisements

June 22, 2018

We’re still here!

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Updates at 11:08 am by stonebankblog

It’s been a long time since our last blog post, but we are always working behind the scenes to raise funds to get this project completed. We welcome input about foundations, nonprofits, businesses or individuals who would help us with a donation.

The Historical Society of North Dakota has been a great friend of the Stone Bank Project, but it has not received funding to distribute as grants from the Legislature. Without that funding, we have to raise money from other resources.

We created the Class of ’72 Challenge to ask our classmates and other classes to contribute to restoring and repurposing this charming, historic building. Come on, Class of ’72! If you haven’t contributed, please do so. If you have contributed, you can do so again or egg on a friend or relative to contribute as well.

In total, we need to raise about $60,000 to raise the back of the building and put the roof on. Together, we can get this done!

June 25, 2017

The Will to Do — The Soul to Dare

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures, Updates at 9:46 pm by stonebankblog

Zoink! It has been 45 years since the Class of ’72 graduated — and today it turns out that our class motto has stood the test of time. In fact, it seems that our motto is also the perfect slogan for the Stone Bank project.

Class of '72 Challenge

It still works! Our class motto is also a good slogan for the Stone Bank project.

Class of '72 Challenge with yearbook photos

Jacalyn Larson and Leland Larshus graduated in 1972 from Bottineau High.

Brian Zahn, a member of the Class of '72

Brian Zahn, Class of ’72, still styling in 2017.

In the final days of June, we have the “soul to dare” that we can raise some matching funds to continue work on the Stone Bank this summer.

We are challenging all the members of the Class of ’72 to make a donation to the Stone Bank project — to help get the back of the building enclosed this year.

And we are asking all BHS grads to step up and also make a contribution in 2017, too.

The budget to enclose the back of the building is roughly $54,000. We have a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND that we need to match by June 30.

Can you help?

If we don’t match the grant, we leave that money on the table. That’s why we are asking for your donations by Friday.

You can give online with a credit card by using Go Fund Me.

Did You Know?

Saving historic buildings makes economic sense?

Indeed, in late 2016 a team from Smart Growth American toured Bottineau and met with community leaders to discuss a vision for Bottineau’s future development.

Smart Growth works with communities across the U.S.  to improve everyday life with better development.

After its visit to Bottineau, it offered six recommendations to help Bottineau remain a vibrant and growing community.

Its #1 recommendation is to preserve Bottineau’s historic buildings.

The gist is this.

We are not crazy optimists – we are ahead of the curve!  The Smart Growth report mentioned the Stone Bank project as something to invest in. Check out the details on our blog.

A gift to this project will leave a lasting mark in Bottineau.

The Stone Bank was built in 1900 by pioneers. We want to repair and restore it to last another century.

When a lot of people give a little each, it adds up quickly.  We are asking all BHS grads to have the will to do and the soul to dare to help turn the Stone Bank into a useful, restored building on Main Street.

YES. USEFUL!

We are adding a handicap entrance at the back of the building — so it will accommodate everyone when it is complete.

Please join us and make a gift today.

Another Way You Can Help

Share this post with your friends and family.

We haven’t been able to reach all of our Class of ’72 classmates. Bev Waters is someone we would like to reconnect with. If you’re in touch with her, please share this blog post with her.

As you know, people move on. They leave ND, and we lose touch. So, help us reconnect, if you can.

These photos are from the 1972 yearbook — which in its day broke some new ground.

Let’s break some ground together in 2017 and successfully restore one of Bottineau’s coolest buildings.  Please join the Class of ’72 in putting the Stone Bank back together again!

You can mail a check to: Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

Class of '72 Challenge with a photo of graduation night

Joe Whetter, center, served in the Marines after high school and he is doing the heavy lifting on the Stone Bank as our stone mason.

We know that everyone from the Girl Scouts to your church asks for donations. We get it.

But imagine the pride you will have in the Stone Bank when it reopens as an office, a store or a coffee shop in the next couple of years. Your gift will create a lasting legacy to future generations of Bottineau residents. Give today. Our fundraising deadline for this grant is Friday, June 30.

PRESERVATION ROCKS!

LET’S ROCK THIS CHALLENGE!

 

June 7, 2017

We aren’t crazy optimists; We’re ahead of the curve!

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Main Street, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 12:14 am by stonebankblog

Restoring a landmark in ND. The Stone Bank

Sharon Kessler and Joe Whetter are spearheading the effort to return the Stone Bank to use. It was built in 1900 with stones carried to North Dakota by glaciers.

Joe Whetter and I were classmates at Bottineau High, but we didn’t know each other well. I am not sure we ever spoke in high school. But for the past six years, we have talked a lot about and worked to restore and repurpose a beautiful stone building on Bottineau’s Main Street that we now call the Stone Bank.

Joe, a stone mason, has done the heavy lifting – lending his know-how and strength to the project. Me? I  write grant proposals, do  fundraising and lead the board of a nonprofit dedicated to repairing the Stone Bank.

Our goal is to retain the building’s historic character while making it useful for another 100 years.

Since 2011, we have encountered asbestos, a very leaky roof and a crumbling back wall. Joe dismantled the back 20 feet of the building so we could put in a new foundation and rebuild the back.

We have worked with architects, historians and community members to meet this challenge – and it has taken time to raise the money to help us move the project along.

Fast forward to 2017. Smart Growth America, a D.C. nonprofit, says we are not crazy optimists – we are ahead of the curve!

Smart Growth works across the U.S. with elected officials, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, urban and rural planners and community groups and leaders in D.C. to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.

In 2016, a Smart Growth team visited Bottineau, toured the community and surrounding area and met community leaders to help craft a vision for Bottineau’s future development. The resulting report offered six recommendations to help Bottineau remain a vibrant and growing community.

Guess what?

The No. 1 recommendation was “restore and repurpose historic structures for community revitalization.” Read the Smart Growth report.

The Smart Growth report specifically cites the Stone Bank Project and its slow progress because of “a lack of funds.” So, there you have it.

A great idea. A work in progress.

A lack of funds.

 

 

Yearbook Bottineau ND Stone Bank

The Class of ’72 yearbook cover broke new ground with an abstract image of the Bottineau High entrance by our classmate Morris McKnight.

Forty-five years ago, the Class of ’72 graduated with eyes trained on the future. Now, honoring the past can be our legacy.

We are asking our high school classmates to lend a hand in the Stone Bank restoration. No heavy lifting involved. We are challenging each of our classmates to contribute $100 (or whatever you can give) to help pay for enclosing the new basement.

By June 30, we need to make a dollar-for-dollar match of a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. If we can’t raise the match, we leave some part of the money for reconstruction on the table.

And we want other BHS grads to join the effort. Let’s see which class can move the most stone. Rock on!

All donations go straight to the project, and your donation will make a difference in 2017. In total, we only need to raise $53,000 (including $20k from the state) to enclose the building. Can you help?

Time is of the essence if we hope to claim the full $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND.

We have started a Go Fund Me campaign for online giving. Or you can mail a check to Touchstones.Inc. (The Stone Bank Project), PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

We also accept gifts by PayPal.

Does your employer match your charitable gifts?

Touchstones is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit – so your gift is tax deductible AND eligible for an employer match.

Please, make a donation today.  If you love Bottineau and its historic buildings, today is the day to show your support. Your gift WILL make a difference.

Thank you.

Sharon Kessler, a cockeyed optimist from the BHS Class of ’72

July 31, 2014

Volunteers! We love ’em

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Photos, Pictures, Updates, Volunteers tagged , , , , at 10:50 pm by stonebankblog

There she sits! The Stone Bank is looking a bit more chic after a long overdue touchup of the paint on her window frames. And we owe it all to volunteers. A group of Fulbright scholars spent a couple days in June, rolled up their sleeves and made it happen.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Volunteers scraped, sanded and painted the Stone Bank's windows. Looking good!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Volunteers scraped, sanded and painted the Stone Bank’s windows. She is looking good and ready for more restorative work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want more? Of course, you do. Who doesn’t want to see the Stone Bank looking chipper?

So let’s keep it going. Our project has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND to continue work to restore the bank building. But we need to match the grant with local contributions of cash or labor.

If we can raise the money — we can raise the back section of the bank and get the building back into use.

So, we need your support. Your donation will go directly into rebuilding costs. Other than insurance and our P.O. Box rental, our overhead is almost ZERO. Oh, speaking of the P.O. Box — It is P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318. Send a check or make a donation with PayPal.

This summer, the plan is to get the plumbing roughed in and the floor joists installed. From there we will rebuild the walls and add the roof. It is all possible, if we have the money to pay the contractors. Can you help? Great.

We appreciate it.

The Stone Bank's front window with a fresh coat of paint on the wooden window frame.

The Stone Bank’s front window with a fresh coat of paint on the wooden window frame.

June 8, 2014

Sun. Stone. Scrape. Paint

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Volunteers tagged , , , , at 11:14 pm by stonebankblog

You are looking at a group of ROCKSTARS!

Stone Bank restoration project

Geared up and ready to work. Our Fulbright volunteers got down to business on Sunday.

Our Fulbright volunteers showed up, gloved up and got to work on the windows at the Stone Bank today! (They hail from a number of countries including Germany, Cuba, India and Senegal.

Twelve pairs of hands — and four local volunteers have given a big boost to this project, which is being operated on a shoestring.

You may not be near enough to grab a paint scraper or a can a paint, but you can show the Stone Bank some love with a donation.

We have a lot of work to do in 2014 that must be done by “paid” contractors. So, please: Dedicate a Stone. Make a $15 donation, and we will thank you with one of our Stone Bank T-shirts. Or just send a donation.

Every dollar goes into restoring this delightful and irreplaceable stone building.

As always. Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.

December 31, 2013

You Rocked the Support!

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates, Volunteers tagged , , , , at 12:09 pm by stonebankblog

Happy. Happy. New Year!

Happy. Happy. New Year!

It has been a really busy year at the Stone Bank — and it has been a year where we have made important progress — and have done a LOT of heavy lifting.

  • Our stone mason finished dismantling the back section of the bank in the spring of 2013.
  • We did some problem-solving around the issue of putting in a new foundation during the summer months, which included shoring up the foundation of the neighboring building and dealing with a wet spot.
  • Wonderful Monte Mikkelsen and his crew from Mikkelsen Aggregates donated time and equipment to excavate the pit for the new foundation.
  • Footings were poured and the new foundation began to rise in the fall, where none had existed before.
  • By late in the fall, the foundation was up to grade and we are in a great position to finish raising the back section in 2014.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We couldn’t have done it without support from the Historical Society of ND and donations from Otter Tail Power, the Bottineau County Board, Preservation ND, Turtle Mountain Communications, St. Michel Furniture, the State Bank of Bottineau and dozens of individuals who made donations, dedicated a stone, bought T-shirts and volunteered their time to help move the project forward. Thank you!

But — we need to ask again. Can you write another check? We plan to make big progress in 2014. For starters, we will complete rebuilding the back 20 feet of the building and put the roof on. Then we need to get the old bank ready for its new life with plumbing and heating and renovating the interior!

Early in 2014, we are going to begin the process of finding a tenant or tenants for this swell building. Any ideas? We would love to hear them.

We are so excited for the Stone Bank’s potential to be a historic anchor for Bottineau’s Main Street. But we can’t get it done without community support. Remember, Touchstones, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donation is tax deductible.

So end 2013 with a glad tidings of support for the Stone Bank. This project is preserving a piece of Bottineau history — and helping the building play a role in Bottineau’s future.

Our fundraising goal for 2014 is $50,000. Every dollar helps.

foundation1

Let’s keep it going! The hardest part is behind us and the fun part is here.

Our mailing address is: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

Or you can make a donation online using PayPal or Razoo. Links are on the right column of this page.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.

November 25, 2013

A Slow-Motion Time-Lapse Review

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Endangered buildings, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , at 9:04 pm by stonebankblog

OK. At Day 25 of National Blog Posting Month, let’s take stock.

We are here for the Stone Bank. Some of you may be new to our project and this blog. So, let’s review.

In 2011, we bought the Stone Bank, which was on the verge of being condemned, formed a nonprofit (Touchstones, Inc.) and started hashing out a plan to save this historic building made of hand-hewn stones in 1900. It has been a challenge and a joy and we are chugging ahead. In 2012, we dismantled 20 feet of the back of the building, which had settled over too shallow footings. We are now in the process of rebuilding the back of the building. Here’s a slide show of some stage of our progress.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The weather has turned to winter ahead of schedule in Bottineau, so we are going to button up the project and the site for the winter and finish the rebuild in the spring.

Some people say this is taking too long — but, remember, we are moving tons of stone on a shoestring. (A great trick!) With donations and some more grants, we are going to get the back of this building up and the roof on in early 2014. Please remember the Stone Bank project in your year-end giving — we will put your trust and your donation to great use.

(There are handy links to Razoo and PayPal on this page.)

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

November 18, 2013

The Stone Will Remember

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, History, Stone Quotes tagged , , , at 9:29 pm by stonebankblog

Here’s a stone quote — not etched in stone — but about stone.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Construction of the Stone Bank was completed in mid-December 1900. Imagine the world that has rolled past it over 113 years. This building really is a link to those who came before us, you can actually see the chisel marks in the stone. It remembers.

We are glad it does.

It’s Day 18 of National Blog Posting Month — and we would appreciate it if you “remember” the Stone Bank with a contribution. We are actively restoring this beautiful structure, and you can touch history by helping us put the back section of the building back together again.

The stone will remember, and, I think I hear it saying “thanks.”

November 14, 2013

Give to the Max in ND

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, History, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , at 7:58 pm by stonebankblog

Today in Minnesota it has been Give to the Max Day — 24 hours of fundraising for nonprofits and charities.

GTMD logo

It’s a great event … BUT!

The focus is on schools and nonprofits in Minnesota. This is all good. Really good.

BUT.

A vast number of Twin Citians come from places like Bottineau, Bismarck, Williston and Fargo. You really can’t throw a rock around the Twin Cities without hitting someone from North Dakota.

Bottineau County ND

There are great causes all across North Dakota. We think the Stone Bank is a good one!

So. North Dakotan-Twin Citians, why not point some of that generosity to the west?

Yep. It’s Day 14 of National Blog Posting Month, and we are asking in plain language for your support.

Open your heart to the Stone Bank or another North Dakota nonprofit — and give them a little sugar.

We don’t have a great organization like GiveMN making giving cool. But is IS cool. Saving a historic building, supporting your local library or giving to any of a number of causes is totally hip. So share some of the love with a North Dakota cause.

Stone Bank circa 1902

The Stone Bank in 1902. It was then-known as Bottineau County Bank.

Tonight.

Before midnight.

Write a check.

Find a stamp.

Address the envelope.

Or go to our website.

You can make a donation through PayPal or Razoo there.

Buy a T-shirt.

Dedicate a stone.

Do it for posterity.

Do it for North Dakota.

We thank you for your support.

Next page