August 31, 2015
Mohall? Hmm. Could it be a generous donor who wants to help our project?
Caller: Is this the Stone Bank?
Caller: Do you cash checks?
SB: (Thoughtful pause). Well, we take checks as contributions, but we are not a bank. We are restoring a historic bank building.
Caller: So, you don’t cash checks?
Caller: Do you know where I could cash a check?
Well, of course, I offered a couple of suggestions. We always try to be helpful at the Stone Bank.
We are NOT a bank, but we are restoring Bottineau’s first bank.
Now we need your help to pay our contractors and put the building back together again.
We will take your check (donations only) at Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.
Any amount will help. It all goes directly to the restoration project to match our grants and pay our contractors.
We need to enclose the back of the building in 2015. Your gift will mean a lot and it is tax deductible.
August 3, 2015
This year’s progress on the Stone Bank project is encouraging, and the restoration work might merit even larger matching grants in the near future, State Historical Society Architectural Historian Lorna Meidinger said today in Bottineau.
“It sure looks different now. You just keep making progress,” Meidinger said today, nearly three years after her last site visit to the Stone Bank project. “Not every (restoration) project keeps going. People get anxious and discouraged.”
Meidinger said she was happy to see that the Stone Bank project is now well into its construction phase, not just destruction any longer. She climbed down onto the basement’s new concrete floor with embedded heating coils and inspected the concrete block walls that will support the stone facade. She agreed it will be crucial to build the rest of the concrete walls and extend the new roof over the back 29 feet of the building before the snow flies this year.
Meidinger also toured the interior of the original 1900 structure and agreed that it would be relatively easy to take down the partition walls and open the space for a bright and airy cafe or meeting rooms. The architectural historian gave her approval to all of the scraping, priming and painting of Stone Bank window frames that a group of 12 visiting Fulbright Scholars did last summer.
“Volunteers aren’t always that careful with their work,” she said.
More help could be on the way from Bismarck, Meidinger said, noting that she and others are pushing for the State Historical Society of North Dakota to raise its $20,000 ceiling for annual matching grants. The Stone Bank project has already garnered two $20,000 grants and one $15,000 grant from the SHSND, but all grants from the state must be matched with donations of money or labor from the community.
Currently, the need for private donations is urgent, because if we can’t afford to finish the block walls and back roof before winter, ice will start to damage the basement walls and flooring already installed this year. So please send your tax-deductible contributions to P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, N.D. 58318 or use the PayPal or Razoo links to the right to put it on your credit card.
July 22, 2015
There you go! We have a fresh concrete floor in the Stone Bank’s basement.
This is the room where there were two heating fuel tanks for the building’s old boiler and the floor was dirty, crumbling concrete.
In the lower right of the photo above, the black circular object is the top of our recently installed sewage lift pump. PROGRESS x 2.
Here is the in-floor heating in the part of the building that we took down and are putting back together. A concrete floor will be poured over the heat elements. In-floor heat! Pretty cool update for an old building in a cold climate.
Now, the back 20-feet of the building has nice deep footings to support the weight of a stone-clad structure. When our nonprofit purchased the Stone Bank in 2011, the back section of the building had only a crawl space — and the back wall of the building was sinking, because it was resting on footings that were much too shallow.
When complete, the back of the Stone Bank will look much the same as it did when we started the project, but it will have a much sturdier foundation, a handicap entrance and two handicap-accessible restrooms.
That’s the way you take a building from 1900 into 2015 — and beyond.
Do you want to be part of the Stone Bank project? We always welcome volunteers, but right now, we really need donations to keep the ball — or stone — rolling on enclosing the back of the building.
Your donations will help us match a generous $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND. We also accept online gifts with PayPal and Razoo. The links are in the sidebar.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. Please, share this post with your friends and family!
July 16, 2015
Our Stone Bank contractors have been working hard to finish work in the basement — breaking up and hauling out the old concrete floor and creating a base for a new floor.
After the crew broke up the old concrete, they hauled it into the new section of the basement where the rubble was taken away by backhoe.
Strong backs built the Stone Bank 115 years ago — and we have some strong backs and heavy equipment putting the back of the building together again. We took apart 20 feet of the building to put a foundation under it. (Don’t worry. We saved the stone and will put it up again.) This photo shows the new section of the basment. (Photos courtesy Scott Wagar)
Make no mistake. This was a tough job. We appreciate our contractors and their crews — because they are doing the hard part of making the building whole again.
The result of all that hard work? A nice, smooth surface that will soon be a concrete basement floor. Notice the handsome stone walls in the basement. Built by immigrant craftsmen between July and December 1900.
Check back here soon to see more progress on our restoration project.
Want to be part of the action? We have some volunteer opportunities, but mosly we need donations. We must pay our contractors for all their heavy lifting — and for that we need cash. Any amount is welcome and all donations go directly into the restoration project.
You don’t have to put out your back to do your part to save this historic building. Just pick up a pen and send a check today to Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318. PayPal and Razoo online payment sites are linked in the sidebar.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your gift is tax deductible.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
December 25, 2014
It’s our friend MaryB in a Stone Bank T!
If you didn’t get a Stone Bank T-shirt under the tree, you can get one on your own.
A little $20 donation will bring you a new long-sleeve verions (quantities limited), or a $15 gift will get you a nice short-sleeve T. Go for it. You will be helping restore the Stone Bank.
Happy Holidays and stop back here for updates on our project. We are predicting a lot of action on the Stone Bank in 2015.
December 8, 2014
It’s snowing up North (and on our blog), but look! The Stone Bank T-shirt makes excellent beach apparel!
Our friend, Laura, recently took her new PRESERVATION ROCKS shirt to a Florida beach! And she totally ROCKED it!
She has the right idea! The Stone Bank T is charming, lovely and easy to pack. AND it’s a great conversation starter for those chance meeting with a handsome stranger or an old friend.
Still time to get yours for the holidays. Best of all. Your donation of $15 will help us match our grant from the Historical Society of ND and help rebuild the back section of the building in 2015.
We love to post photos of our friends wearing the Stone Bank T. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org with a few details about the location and we will share it.
You can make a contribution right on this page. Then send us a note about size and color of shirt and we will send it along to you. There are more details and photos on our website. We now have a limited number of long-sleeve shirts, for those who are not getting to the beach this winter.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
November 18, 2014
What’s this? The original Stone Bank puzzle back in action?
Indeed. And “in action” a long, long way from Bottineau. This old Stone Bank puzzle is now entertaining folks (and perhaps puzzling them) at a community center near Phoenix!
Thanks to our friend Jane for sending the photos. We love it when folks near and far offer a hand in fixing the Stone Bank, even if it is only putting the puzzle together.
Want to help? Your contribution will help us rebuild the back 20 feet of the building!
Be like Jane! She recently sent a contribution using the PayPal link on this page. Our mailing address is also in the right column. We would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
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 15, 2014
Talk about a happy accident! Your Stone Bank blogger sat down to breakfast on the Amtrak recently with two strangers. But we weren’t strangers for long. Deb and Kath were great breakfast companions — and they loved the story of the Stone Bank.
When Deb returned home to Wisconsin, she ordered a Stone Bank T-shirt from StoneBank.org.
Deb reports that she loves her shirt and she sent this photo!
This is the year that we plan to raise the back section of the bank and put the roof on. Join us on the journey! Every T-shirt sale helps. Don’t want a T-shirt? Dedicate a stone or just make a contribution.
Let’s get this done! Your donation will make a difference.
Thanks for your support.
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.