July 31, 2014
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.
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.
June 8, 2014
You are looking at a group of ROCKSTARS!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Here’s a stone quote — not etched in stone — but about stone.
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
Today in Minnesota it has been Give to the Max Day — 24 hours of fundraising for nonprofits and charities.
It’s a great event … BUT!
The focus is on schools and nonprofits in Minnesota. This is all good. Really good.
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.
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.
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.
November 12, 2013
We won’t live long enough to see this date sequence again.
But the Stone Bank will most likely be around a hundred years from now to bear witness to a another series of consecutive sequence dates in the next millennium. Why? Because we are making sure this building stands tall for another century or more.
So here’s to the Stone Bank — and another 100 years.
It’s the season of giving, and we could use your support as we rebuild the back of this building. Any amount helps pay the contractors — so give away. You are holding history in your hands.
February 6, 2013
KX News stopped by the Stone Bank last week and did a nice overview story about the restoration project.
If you’re a new follower of this blog, take a few minutes to scroll through our old posts to see how far the project has come.
In 2013, our goal is to raise the back of the building over a new foundation and begin working to restore the interior. We are always happy to hear from our readers. Tell us what you think.
Thanks KX for taking an interest in the Stone Bank project and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
January 31, 2013
New York City’s Grand Central Station turned 100 today!
Bells and whistles. Sound the train horns and clap your hands. Making it to 100 is a great big deal. No, make that a GRAND deal.
Grand Central stands today because preservationists worked hard to save it. And it is 13 years YOUNGER than our charming Stone Bank.
Let’s salute big dreams, big goals and great old buildings.
This snip came from Grand Central Station’s website. Check it out for great pictures and a cool timeline about the building’s history.
The Stone Bank isn’t as grand in many ways, but it’s a charming touchstone with Bottineau’s history and its founders. Bottineau County Bank had been operating out of the “fine stone bank” for 13 years when Grand Central opened. Amazing to think of the vision the Stone Bank’s founders had to build something that would last a very long time. Our goal is to give it another 100 or more years.
For the Stone Bank, 2013 is going to be a HUGE year. The back of the building will be rebuilt over a new foundation — and soon after it will get a new interior and a new life.
Join us. Support us. Send us a donation or a story about your connection to the bank. Or tell us your dreams for how the bank should be used.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
January 14, 2013
Historic restoration isn’t an easy road. It’s rugged, and, yet, rugged roads often lead to the highest reward. That’s how we feel about the Stone Bank Project.
Here’s a quote from Paul Graham, an entrepreneur, on the value of an idea (or purpose).
The founders who do the best are the type of people who just refuse to fail. Most startups have at least one low point where any reasonable person would give up…. The only people who get through it are the ones who have an unreasonable aversion to failing.
That’s pretty much how we feel about the Stone Bank Project — we are going to see this through. PERIOD. We are really pleased by a recent uptick in donations. It’s great to have some other cockeyed optimists join the effort.
Mark Briggs puts it this way:
Developing a great idea into a successful business is like pushing a boulder up a hill. The best entrepreneurs — those who successfully reach the top — get to watch the boulder roll down the other side.
Mr. Briggs is writing about business and entrepreneurship — but historic restoration projects — like the Stone Bank — are also a form of entrepreneurship.
So, we are pushing the boulder up the hill — indeed — our stone mason is actually moving boulders to bring the Stone Bank back to life. Check out this video about moving stone!
By this time next year? We hope to be watching that boulder tumble down the other side. We hope you are there to help us give it the last shove.
Here’s a great video from the day our contractor began pulling down the Stone Bank’s back wall. It’s all up from here.
Thanks for joining us on our journey and thanks for your continued support.