February 17, 2014

A T-shirt for all occasions!

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , , at 9:18 pm by stonebankblog

Have you ever noticed that some people have a knack for wearing just the right thing no matter what the occasion?

Our Stone Bank friend, Jeff, has that knack! He wears his Stone Bank T-shirt a lot.

Stone Bank project, Bottineau, ND

Look! It’s Jeff, Up North and wearing his Stone Bank T! Great look, Jeff!

Be like Jeff! Order your Stone Bank T-shirt today. Your donation of $15 or more will bring the T to your closet, and your donation will help us continue the restoration of the beautiful Stone Bank.

We have got PayPal and Razoo for online payment — or you can send us a check. Then send us a photo wearing your shirt. We would love to publish it here.

It really is a T-shirt for all occasions. And the Stone Bank is here to stay. Help us finish the project with your donation. Check out the colors and sizes on our website.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!


November 30, 2013

NaBloPoMo Finale (whew)

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Life, Photos, Pictures, Volunteers tagged , , , , , at 1:41 pm by stonebankblog

The moment you’ve all been waiting for … our last post for National Blog Posting Month 2013.

Stone Bank Project, Bottineau, ND

Admiring a gorgeous sunset near Bottineau, N.D., is a nice way to close NaBloPoMo.

Before we close out the month, we’d like to thank everyone who shared this journey, commented and sent photos. Your input made it a lot more fun to come up with 30 daily posts. Don’t be shy — we are always open to ideas, photos and commentary for months without a theme.

We also need to thank a few more wonderful Stone Bank friends — who are there when we need them. They have championed our project, worked for little or no pay and have been total rock stars!

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Of course, there are countless others who have stepped up, donated and said a kind word. It’s good to pause and remember that this really is a community project — and we are grateful for every kindness and courtesy. We truly wouldn’t have made this happen without you.

But we are not done. So, stay tuned. Dedicate a stone. Buy a T-shirt. Wish us well.

We wanted to end #NaBloPoMo with a bang. So, here it is.

Stone Bank Project, Bottineau, ND

What can you say? Our Stone Bank friends and volunteers are dynamite.

Thanks for your support.

November 29, 2013

Rockin’ Iowa in a Stone Bank T

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , at 5:04 pm by stonebankblog

Oh, it is so good to see people of good taste wearing our Stone Bank T-shirt. Why, here’s someone now!

Stone Bank restoration in Bottineau, N.D.

Our friend, Jean, ordered a unisex T in periwinkle blue and showed it off near her
home in Iowa. Looking good, Jean!

Don’t stand in line at the mall this holiday season — order your Stone Bank T online today. They make a great holiday surprise, and every purchase of a Stone Bank T goes to help rebuild and repurpose the Stone Bank in Bottineau, N.D. We would love to publish a photo of someone wearing a Stone Bank T in all 50 states. Let’s get going. Order a shirt and then send the picture.

Jean not only follows this blog, but she has a blog  — The Tuxedo Files. She ruminates on all kinds of things, but mostly it’s a writer’s blog, where she shares parts of her novels with us. Be sure to check it out.

It’s Day 29 of #NaBloPoMo and we are kind of happy to see the month drawing to a close. There’s always a lot to talk about — but life is busy, and daily blogging is really a commitment. See you back here tomorrow.

November 28, 2013

Time to give thanks for the Stone Bank’s bedrock

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Life, Volunteers at 12:17 pm by stonebankblog

We interrupt this series of daily missives by Stone Bank blogger Sharon Kessler to bring you a Thanksgiving message — by her husband and guest Stone Bank blogger Mike Dorsher. …

The Stone Bank Project is thankful for — and indebted to — many people. You can see some of them in the slide show below, but they also include many unseen supporters who have made financial donations from near and afar. They even include everyone who has read this blog, given it a “Like,” left a Comment or just contributed good wishes and karma to our quest.

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But there are two people, in particular, without whom this project would now be a pile of rubble. Rather than a piece of history being preserved, the Stone Bank would now be a relic of history were it not for these two people.

One them is Joe Whetter, whom we usually simply refer to as our “stone mason,” but he is much, much more. Joe is the brawn and brains of the Stone Bank restoration that you see today. He has put his blood, sweat and gears into disassembling the back 20 feet of this structure, stone-by-stone, and now rebuilding it, block-by-block — plus an 8-foot addition for handicap accessibility. With a small crew of helpers under his direction, Joe has hand-carried some of the bank’s 400-pound boulders in the bitter cold and snow, he has poured pilings and cut sidewalk in the rain, and he has hand-shoveled mud in the heat of summer — all for sporadic pay of his heavily discounted bills. I don’t know what is more amazing — to see this grandchild-raising ex-Marine who’s pushing 60 engage in hard labor like a ball-and-chain prisoner or that such a man resides within the same town as the Stone Bank, that he and my wife were Bottineau High School classmates — and that they’re still talking to each other.

We owe a great, BIG thanks to Joe today. But even Joe would readily acknowledge that there would be no Stone Bank Project today without my wife, Sharon Kessler. She walked past the Stone Bank every day on her way to and from Bottineau High School, and she never forgot it, even after going off to UND and living with me in Bismarck, Madison, Washington, DC, Wisconsin, England and the Twin Cities. When Karen Larson told her the back of the Stone Bank was crumbling and the City Council was about to condemn and raze it, they formed a nonprofit, Touchstones, Inc., to raise funds and save it. In the 2 1/2 years since then, Sharon has poured hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into the Stone Bank Project — in addition to her full-time (plus some) job in the Twin Cities at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. None of Joe’s work on the site would have been possible without her grant writing, fundraising, organizing — and blog posting.

So today, as we all give thanks for our family, friends and fortunes small and large, those of us who are friends of the Stone Bank Project should pause and give thanks to Joe and Sharon, too. That process started a couple months ago when Cenex recognized Sharon with a $50 gift card from its “Tanks of Thanks” program. I will close this guest post by letting you read the Cenex-edited version of what I wrote then (click on the image to see it full size). Tomorrow, Sharon will be back here with the penultimate installment of National Blog Posting Month.


November 24, 2013

A Postcard from Bottineau: 1928

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , , at 2:58 pm by stonebankblog

Isn’t this interesting? A friend of a Stone Bank friend found this postcard in the archives of O’Reilly Auto Parts. He tells me that O’Reilly bought out a company known as Midwest Auto Parts that seems to have North Dakota roots. But my knowledge of the company’s history ends right there.

Bottineau, ND

This postcard with a 1928 postmark was mailed from Bottineau, ND.

It’s just fun to see something mailed from Bottineau in 1928. And it’s interesting to see the cost of the auto parts for a Model T. In 1928, the Stone Bank had been standing on the corner of Sixth and Main for 28 years. Bottineau County Bank had failed five years before this postcard was mailed, and it was in receivership. The bank never reopened, but the building was occupied over the years by a number of businesses — and we plan to see it occupied again in the next couple of years.

In 2013, not a lot of folks are still driving Model T’s but the Stone Bank is getting ready to roll again.

It’s Day 24 of National Blog Posting Month and we have the blog firmly in “drive” and are moving ahead.

We have some photos from 2003 sent in by a blog reader — we will be posting those soon. Do you have a photo to share? We would love to post photos, guest blogs or your comments on the blog. Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

November 13, 2013

Now It’s His Lucky Shirt!

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , at 8:45 pm by stonebankblog

We present to you a man, a Stone Bank T-shirt and a hockey victory!

Our friend, Jeff, wore his Stone Bank T under his equipment in an AHA — Adult Hockey Association — game last week. (Why wouldn’t he wear it on top?)

Stone Bank restoration, Bottineau, ND

Jeff thinks his Stone Bank T-shirt made him lucky on ice. Excellent theory.

His team — the Spitfires — was down a goal in the third period, and Jeff made the goal that tied the game.

Goooooooo! Jeff!

And the Spitfires went on to win! (Could be luck. Could be skill. We like the idea that the shirt made the difference.)

Now he calls the Stone Bank T his lucky shirt! You know, he’s probably correct.

Doesn’t everyone you know need a lucky shirt? Come on. They are 100 percent cotton. Pre-shrunk and, well, just plain lucky. For a mere $15 donation, you can be lucky, too. Order yours today. Be a Spitfire. Be a rock star. Your T-shirt order supports the Stone Bank project.

Don’t need luck or a shirt? We accept plain, old-fashioned donations, too.

November 11, 2013

Shake a Veteran’s Hand

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Life, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , at 10:51 am by stonebankblog

Let’s all take a moment to say “thanks” to a veteran today.

Stone Bank Bottineau ND

The flag, the breeze and the Stone Bank — give a hearty salute to those who have served our country.

Start with our stone mason, Joe Whetter, who served in the Marines. And he is doing us an honor by working to restore the Stone Bank.

Today, we honor Joe and all other veterans. Thanks for your service.

Stone mason Joe Whetter

Stone mason Joe Whetter did the heavy lifting in dismantling the back 20 feet of the Stone Bank. He is now working on a new foundation for the back of the building.

November 6, 2013

Don’t Just Stand There …

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , at 8:09 pm by stonebankblog

Say something good about the Stone Bank.

Stone Bank in Bottineau, ND

A walk in the woods, a drive in the car — anytime is a great time to think: Stone Bank.

Your Stone Bank blogger thinks about the Stone Bank a lot. Little things like “how are we going to get (fill in the blank) done? Or, “Wow, that stone looks great in the sunlight.” And sometimes: “What was I thinking.”

So, on Day 6 of National Blog Posting Month, we are holding an open-mike night. Tell us what you think about this project or historic preservation in general. Tell us about your favorite historic place. Just don’t tell us to give up. That isn’t on the options list.

Please, ask questions about the project. Make suggestions for future blog posts. Share a memory of Bottineau or the Stone Bank. We want to hear from YOU, our loyal blog readers and our new friends.

Just don’t stand there …

November 5, 2013

You Look Great in Blue!

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , , at 1:47 pm by stonebankblog

This is really a nice T-shirt!

That’s why my colleague Jeff G. said when he put on his new Stone Bank T-shirt.

Stone Bank in Bottineau, Nd

Another friend of the Stone Bank rocks the T-shirt. But his hands are out suggesting perhaps that you make a donation to our worthy cause.

Buy a shirt. Send us a photo and we will post it on the blog.

Jeff’s photo was taken at the office in downtown Saint Paul. Where will you pose for your Stone Bank photo?

We would love to post it here during National Blog Posting Month. The month is young — and we have the room.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. We always appreciate comments and likes. (Heck, everyone wants to be liked. Jeff does. The Stone Bank does. The blogger does. So send us some love.)

Check out our website for information on ordering a T-shirt.

November 2, 2013

Rockin’ the T-Shirt

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , at 9:27 pm by stonebankblog

What are the hipsters wearing near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis?

A Stone Bank T-shirt, of course.

Stone Bank T-shirt

She designed this T-shirt and she is rockin’ it. MaryB says  hello from Minneapolis.

Thanks for the great design MaryB. We love the T-shirt. We think there should be one in every closet.

How about you? We would love to publish a photo of you in your Stone Bank T!  But first you have to order one. Easy to do.

Order on our website, or stop by 4J’s Sporting Goods in Bottineau — they have them in stock.

We have women’s cut T-shirts in antique cherry red (gorgeous) from small to 3x. Men’s cut T’s are in periwinkle blue, from medium to 3x.

Show your Stone Bank spirit and order your T-shirt today. They are only $15, 100% cotton and a great conversation starter. All proceeds support the Stone Bank project. (And we pay the shipping.)

This is Day 2 of National Blog Posting Month, and we hope to publish at least 10 photos of our friends sporting their Stone Bank T’s. Let’s go.

Do you have a photo or a Stone Bank story to share? Send them to Touchstones.inc@gmail.com and we will share them on our blog.

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