January 19, 2014

Old and Still Very Useful

Posted in Bottineau, History, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 10:08 pm by stonebankblog

Oh, how it makes the Stone Bank blogger happy to see a great old building with a new lease on life.

Right there on Main Street in Red Wing, Minn., is a Caribou Coffee in a red brick railway station from 1906. Not too crazy about the interior, but it’s just great to see this building standing, sturdy and useful. Hurrah.

Don’t you love a timeline? Here are the details:

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Love it!

We want the same for our Stone Bank. Sturdy and useful and IN USE for the next 100 years or more.

For comparison’s sake: Bottineau County Bank (what we now call the Stone Bank) was founded in 1887. The Stone Bank was built in the last six months in 1900 — and replaced an earlier wood-frame building. It was Bottineau’s first bank, which failed in 1923. The building had many uses over the years and most recently was a lawyer’s office. We know that our restoration project will give it a new life in the next couple of years.

Do you have a favorite restored building in your home town or someplace you have visited? What was it built for and how is it now used? Send a photo and we will post it.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. Comments and contributions always welcome.

August 25, 2013

Progress in the Pit

Posted in Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , , at 11:06 am by stonebankblog

We’re not talking barbecue here. We’re talking concrete and stone! And we are cooking, now!

The new footings are in at the Stone Bank. They need a week or so to cure — and then the rebuilding can begin.

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The site was wet, because we found an old wellhead in the excavated site. This was the area where we found all the old bottles in the excavation. Makes sense. They didn’t have recycling bins in 1900, when the bank was built, so they tossed bottles into the well. We found out from a source at City Hall that several other old buildings on Main Street also have old wells.

What did we do? Our crew pumped out and filled the old well. Then the site had to dry out before we could proceed with the footings. We were also behind a much larger project at the Botno Readi Mix plant — so we also had to wait on our concrete.

Now the waiting is over and we can move on to rebuilding. As we finish the support structure in the coming weeks, we will install drain tile and make room for a sump pump, so the new basement will stay dry.

Now we need your help to make the rebuild happen. Yes, we have been fortunate in our grantwriting. But we need donations from the public to match the grants and keep things moving.

Can you help now? This is the turning point for the project. With your help, we will get this building up and the roof on this fall.

It’s easy: Dedicate a stone. Buy a T-shirt. Send a check or use our handy PayPal link to send a donation online. Help us rebuild this wonderful, historic building and put it back to use.

We know you care about this building, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Please take the next step and help us move some stone.

As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.

August 2, 2013

New Stone Bank shirts come out for ‘Crazy Days’

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Main Street, Promotions/Contests, Uncategorized, Volunteers at 12:24 am by stonebankblog

Advisory Board member Mike Dorsher unveiled our new T-shirts Thursday at "Crazy Days" on Bottineau's Main Street. Touchstones President Sharon Kessler will be at the table Saturday afternoon. Come see us! Photo by Wenche Brandon N'Kjell-Hensch

Advisory Board member Mike Dorsher unveiled our new T-shirts Thursday at “Crazy Days” on Bottineau’s Main Street. Touchstones President Sharon Kessler will be at the table Saturday afternoon. Come see us! Photo by Wenche Brandon N’Kjell-Hensch

“They” said we were crazy to save the Stone Bank building, so that must mean we’re the perfect participants for “Crazy Days” on Bottineau’s Main Street!

The event started Thursday and continues through Saturday afternoon. On Friday and Saturday there will be huge, inflatable play stations for kids right on our corner at Main and Sixth Streets. Merchants all up and down Main Street are offering crazy bargains on their sidewalks, and we’re proud to be one of them for the first time.

For a donation of just $15, you can get one of our colorful new “Stone Bank” T-shirts — in unisex sizes from medium all the up to 3X for the steel blue and in smaller-running women’s sizes S to 3X in the “antique cherry red.” You can also order our T-shirts and wristbands online here (with free shipping!), but if you stop by our Crazy Days table, you might win one for free. We’re giving away one women’s shirt and one blue unisex shirt to the gal and guy who come closest to guessing how many stones from our site are in the big plastic container on our table. You can enter for free, and you can also take our free survey about what the Stone Bank building should house when we finish preserving it in the next couple years — with your help!

So whether or not you can come see us at Crazy Days, please go a little crazy with your pocketbook and buy a new Stone Bank T-shirt, dedicate a stone in the name of a loved one or simply make a contribution using the PayPal or Razoo links to the right. Thank you!

June 13, 2013

Visit us at the Bottineau County Fair!

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Main Street, Promotions/Contests, Uncategorized, Volunteers at 1:03 pm by stonebankblog

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Today through Sunday afternoon, we will be one of the featured exhibitors at the Bottineau County Fair. Stop by and say, “Hi”; examine the architect’s blueprints for our Stone Bank Project; sign up for a daily drawing for a “Preservation Rocks!” T-shirt; get a wristband for $1 (or free, if you sign up for our email newsletters); and most helpful of all, sign up for our “Dedicate a Stone” fundraiser, at levels ranging from $25 to $500. We can even put through a credit card transaction from here at the fair.

Started in 1875, the Bottineau County Fair is the oldest county fair in North Dakota. It’s even 25 years older than the Stone Bank building. So what better place to publicize Bottineau County’s most historic Main Street building than at Bottineau’s historic county fair?

And even if you can’t make it to Bottineau for the County Fair, you can still “Dedicate a Stone” on our website — and buy a T-shirt or wristband here. Plus, if you “follow” this blog by signing up in the lower-right corner of this page, you’ll be on our list for email newsletters in the future.

Hope to see you at the fair. But right now, I have to go over to the First Lutheran lunch stand for my first piece of apple pie!

— By Mike Dorsher, Stone Bank advisory board member and webmaster

November 4, 2012

Razoo to You, too!

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Main Street, Photos, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , at 11:39 pm by stonebankblog

Greetings from Stone Bank fundraising HQ where we have some news to report. But first, let’s pause for a lovely picture of the Stone Bank.

Stone Bank at dawn on a clear, cold October morning. It simply glows in the light.

We are pleased to report some incoming contributions for the Stone Bank Project. A list of  recent supporters is posted on top of the Stone Bank homepage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We needed that. And that. And that.

Also, to make things easier for online giving, we have opened an account with Razoo. Ra-what? You ask.

Razoo is a national company that works with nonprofits around the country to raise millions for great causes like ours. We have posted a Razoo “donate” button on this page and on the Stone Bank’s homepage. No need to find an envelope, a stamp and remember our address — just click and give!  Nearly 100 percent of your donation comes directly to the Stone Bank.  (For instance,  a $100 online contribution will bring $97  to the Stone Bank.  Very fair for the ease and accessibility of the service. Give it a try. There are several other great Bottineau nonprofits on Razoo, too. Just search for Bottineau’s zipcode — 58318 — to find other worthy projects.

Did you know that November 15th is Give to the Max Day? Nonprofits across the country work to get out end-of-year donations on the National Day of Giving. We hope when you think of charitable giving that the Stone Bank Project is near the top of your list. And then you take action.

This is a critical time for your support, because at the end of the month our stone mason will finish dismantling the back 20 feet of the building. Your donations create the matching funds we need for $25,000 in grants that support this project.

Stone Bank in Bottineau ND

The stone wall at left in this picture and the remaining  rear foundation will be dismantled in late November 2012. Rebuilding over a new foundation is planned for 2013 with your support.

This fall’s work will ready the project for its “rebuild phase” in early 2013. So, Razoo to you! It’s a great way to help the Stone Bank Project move ahead. Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. We appreciate your interest in our project. Here’s another early morning shot of the bank. Charming and pretty! It glows in the light — and you’ll glow, too, knowing your contribution helped bring this historic building back to life.

Stone Bank in Bottineau, ND

Dawn’s light glows in the front window of the Stone Bank.

As excited as we are to offer online giving through Razoo, we won’t turn down your check. Send it to: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main St., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

October 1, 2012

Stone Love in the Mail!

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Friends of Stone Bank, History, Main Street, Photos, Updates tagged , , , at 11:43 pm by stonebankblog

Sometimes the mailbox can be the bearer of bad news and bills. But some days it’s full of birthday cards and good wishes.

A while back we got a great letter from Scott Swanson and he gave us permission to share it with our blog followers.

Scott’s dad owned the Stone Bank for about 50 years — so Scott spent a lot of time during his childhood inside the bank and  outside — shoveling.

Here’s his letter:

Stone Bank Bottineau

Letter from Scott Swanson, used with his permission.

If you read this blog, you know that we are working hard to raise the money to continue work to save this wonderful structure. Can you help? We have $25,000 in grant money, but we need to match that with local funds to put the building back on solid footing and move it closer to a new life.

Stone Bank Bottineau ND

This picture from the Historical Society of ND show the Stone Bank in the 1970s. Do you suppose the 10-speed bike is Scott Swanson’s? Maybe.

Invite your friends and relatives to check out the blog or http://www.StoneBank.org. If you want to fill the Stone Bank’s mailbox with love and good wishes. Send your check to: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!

September 9, 2012

Build with Brick! (or Stone)

Posted in Bottineau, History, Life, Main Street, Photos tagged , , , , at 2:52 pm by stonebankblog

Here’s a fun editorial from the Oct. 1, 1901 Bottineau Courant — touting the benefits of building with brick. (Of course, we extrapolate this to the benefits of building with stone.) The Stone Bank was not yet a year old (completed in December 1900) when this editorial was published.

Editorial from Bottineau Courant 10.1.1901

Was the editor onto a good idea? From 111 years later, we think he was right. What do you think?

Bottineau’s “brick block” is still lined with sturdy brick buildings (including the Stone Bank). It lends the town an air of permanence and history. Check back in a few days, when we’ll post a slideshow of other downtown Bottineau businesses.

Stone Bank - Bottineau in July 2012

This only looks like an old picture. This shot of the charming Stone Bank was taken in July 2012

We are currently trying to raise $20,000 in matching funds for a $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The Stone Bank Project is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit. So your contribution is tax deductible.  Sending a check? Our address is Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main St., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog. Tell your friends to follow us, so they get all the latest updates on the Stone Bank Project.

September 8, 2012

Ahh, the beauty of flowers

Posted in Bottineau, Main Street, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 11:57 am by stonebankblog

Blooming flowers add a nice touch to the Stone Bank’s front facade.

Summer brings a bit of extra color to flower boxes on Bottineau’s Main Street. We are lucky to have one of the planters in full bloom outside the Stone Bank. It looks just great against the bank’s warm stone exterior.

What’s up with the project? We are working to raise $20,000 in matching funds for a State Historical Society grant, so work can proceed on the back of the building. We’re hoping to start work in October. Can you help? There is a PayPal link on this page, or you can send a check to Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main St., PO Box 272. Bottineau, ND 58318.

We recently had a nice $2,500 donation from Otter Tail Power. That’s a great start for our fall work. Jump in. Every dollar helps. Seriously, every dollar helps.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

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.

March 27, 2012

Solid as a ROCK!

Posted in Bottineau, History, Main Street, Photos, Updates at 5:09 pm by stonebankblog

Here’s a 1901 ad about the Bottineau County Bank that was placed in “Bottineau Illustrated.” It’s the single best picture of the bank that we have. Isn’t it great to see the bank standing there true and as solid as a rock? The ad’s simple elegance seems designed to convey a sense of solidness and stability.

Your Stone Bank blogger’s guess is that the two chaps on the front steps are two of the guys named in the ad — perhaps the cashier and assistant cashier. (From other research, it appears that they handled the day-to-day operations of the bank.)

Ad for Bottineau County Bank circa 1901

This ad lists the second group of investors who owned and ran the bank.

Last week at the ND State Archives, we found that the bank had more than $722,000 in liabilities when it went under in 1923. Wow. And it took about 20 years for the receiver and his crew to work through all the claims and other issues. The really sad discovery at the Archives was an affadavit  that attests that all the bank’s records were burned when the receivership ended. Drat. And Double Drat. This probably explains why we can’t find much about the bank.

Speaking of money — we could use some donations. We have a few remaining bills from last season’s work, and we’re gearing up to go ahead with our 2012 agenda.

Go to www.StoneBank.org to send an online payment via PayPal. Or drop a check in the mail to 511 Ohmer Street, Bottineau, ND 58318.  Every dollar will help with rebuilding the back. And tell your friends. We could use a few angels to drop some “deposits” our way.

Thanks for joining the push.

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