February 24, 2020

Project Awarded $28.5 K Grant

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , at 12:07 am by stonebankblog

1 front view 2018

News Release (Feb. 24, 2020)

The Historical Society of North Dakota (HSND) has awarded the Stone Bank Project its largest-ever grant to Restore the Stone Bank on Bottineau’s Main Street. The Historical Society made the $28,491 grant to enclose the back 20 feet of the building.

The grant represents half of the funds needed to enclose the back of the building. Touchstones, Inc., the nonprofit that owns the building, needs to raise an equal amount to match the grant to complete the work by May 2021.

“We are delighted the Historical Society has again decided to make an investment in the Stone Bank Project,” says Sharon Kessler, the president of Touchstones, Inc. “The work we started in 2011 to restore the building and give it a new lease on life aligns perfectly with Gov. Burgum’s Main Street Initiative.”

The Main Street Initiative is an effort to provide tools and support to help communities capitalize on their strengths and to make them more vibrant and attractive to a 21st-century workforce.

“Our goal has always been to preserve this beautiful piece of Bottineau’s history and make it useful for another 100 years or more,” Kessler said. “The restored Stone Bank will nod to history and be a cornerstone for Bottineau’s future. We are going to work hard to match the grant and get the back of the building done.”

Donations can be sent to: Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

Here are some pictures of the Stone Bank. It was build in 1900 by pioneer craftsmen from stones brought by glaciers to ND.

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This is the original Bottineau County Bank, completed in Dec. 1900. The rear of the building was extended about 20 feet in the 1930s, but it was built on shallow footings and that caused structural issues in the back of the building. We dismantled the back 20 feet in 2011-2012 to put a proper foundation under it.

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We completed putting down deep footings and a new basement a couple a years ago, but a lack of funding stalled our progress. With the grant from HSND, our plan is to match the grant and get this building enclosed in 2020. This photo shows where the original building joins the rebuilt basement wall. We have the stone and will reattach the facade when the back of the building is enclosed.

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The floor joists are in. Our stone mason, contractor and roofer will make quick work on getting the back of the building enclosed in 2020. But we need to match the $28,491 grant to get it done. It’s time, and we hope you will help us make this happen.

building elevation snip

This architect’s drawing shows what the completed building will look like when it is done. It’s going to look almost exactly like the old building, but we have extended it about 8 feet to make room for a handicap-accessible entrance. It’s going to be a building that is ready for Bottineau’s future.

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We think the Stone Bank is a real touchstone with Bottineau’s history, and it will be around for generations to come. Your gift will really make a difference in 2020.

Leave a comment on the blog or send us an email at touchstones.inc@gmail. com. We’d love to hear from you and we love to hear stories about the Stone Bank.

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

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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.

 

April 3, 2017

It’s time to finish this…

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Life, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Promotions/Contests, Recommended Reading, Renovation, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:29 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s face it. WE are living in historic times! It was a winter of historic snowfall in Bottineau, but our friend Spring is finally pushing the snow into memory. It’s time to seize the moment and get back to the important work of enclosing the Stone Bank.

Of course, it’s always about the bottom line. That’s the challenge. And we are asking our classmates in the BHS Class of ’72 to lead the way. How? It’s easy.

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We are challenging each member of the Class of ’72 to donate $100 to restoring the Stone Bank. We have lost five classmates far too young, and it would be marvelous if each of us donated in memory of those friends as well.

Those $100 donations would bring $7,000 to a project that really needs a financial shot in the arm. Together, we can give the project a boost and inspire giving from others with ties to Bottineau.

Why the class of ’72? Good question. Well, two of your classmates have been doing the heavy lifting on this restoration project. Joe Whetter, is a stone mason and an amazing advocate and partner on this project. I (Sharon Kessler) founded a nonprofit, have coordinated fundraising and planning to advance the project since 2011.

Now, we really need your help. It’s easy to give online. You can give by credit card through PayPal, Razoo or GiveMN.

Or you can send a check: Touchstones, Inc., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

The time is now. We can’t do this alone. We need to make progress on the building in 2017 to keep the structure from deteriorating. It has been open to the elements for a couple of years. We need to show community participation and interest to generate grants — so your contribution really does make a difference. In total, we need to raise $58,000 to enclose the structure. Can you help?

Frankly, we are at a point in life, where many of us are thinking about legacy — the difference we made in the world. The good we will leave behind. This is a great chance for you to help preserve a piece of Bottineau history and make it useful for future generations of those who will call Bottineau home. Your $100 gift added to those of other classmates really will make a difference.

Please make a gift today, so we can move forward with restoring this community treasure. Let’s get this done, together.

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Joe Whetter and Sharon Kessler, BHS Class of ’72

We would love to hear from you. Please send a note, your ideas and memories of Bottineau for the blog to touchstones.inc@gmail.com. Guest blog entries are also welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2015

Labor Day XXX’s and OOO’s

Posted in Bottineau, Photos, Renovation, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 11:24 am by stonebankblog

Let’s hear it for the working man… and woman. We hope you are taking a break and enjoying the day.

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This Labor Day, we are especially grateful for our Stone Bank team. They are doing the heavy lifting to help bring this historic building back to life.

They are ready to get back to work, but we need the money to pay for their time and effort.

Every donation to our 501(c)(3) goes directly to materials and labor. Your donation will make a difference. Please make one today.

Honor a loved one by dedicating a stone. Add to your T-shirt collection by making a $15 donation.

Or just help us move the project forward with a contribution to the project. Links for online giving are in the right column, or you can mail a check to: Touchstones, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

If you need a “Dedicate a Stone” form, we will send you one.

We are very thankful for the resourcefulness and tenacity of our contractors. They give us a lot and we want them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Please make a donation today to honor their work to finish enclosing the building.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

August 31, 2015

It’s a bank and not a bank

Posted in Bottineau, History, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , at 3:26 pm by stonebankblog

  When the Stone Bank phone rang last week the caller ID said the caller was from Mohall.

Mohall? Hmm. Could it be a generous donor who wants to help our project?

SB: Hello!

Caller: Is this the Stone Bank?

SB: Yes! 

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.

Long pause.

Caller: So, you don’t cash checks?

SB: No.

Caller: Do you know where I could cash a check?

SB: Sigh.

—-

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.

  
 If you love Bottineau’s historic Main Street, this is a great way to show that love — with cash, check or credit card. Maybe we should put an ATM in the restored building. (Just a thought.)

We need to enclose the back of the building in 2015. Your gift will mean a lot and it is tax deductible.

Thanks!

August 3, 2015

State historian sees good progress during Stone Bank site visit

Posted in History, Inside Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , at 7:11 pm by stonebankblog

Touchstones advisory board member Mike Dorsher and State Historical Society Architectural Historian Lorna Meidinger survey the new concrete heated floor and support walls at the Stone Bank project.

Touchstones advisory board member Mike Dorsher and State Historical Society Architectural Historian Lorna Meidinger survey the new concrete heated floor and support walls at the Stone Bank project.

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

Concrete progress at the Stone Bank

Posted in Inside Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , , , at 7:50 am by stonebankblog

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.

Much better.

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

Everything’s Looking Up in Stone Bank’s Basement

Posted in Inside Stone Bank, Photos, Pictures, Renovation, Updates tagged , , , , , at 7:24 am by stonebankblog

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.

Stone Bank restoration, Bottineau ND

Before we can have a new basement floor, our crew had to remove the old, broken concrete from the Stone Bank’s basement. (Photo  courtesy of  D. Pederson)

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.

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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)

Stone Bank restoration, Botutinea

Crew members of Jim Berg Construction scooped up the remnants of the old basement floor inside  the building to make way for a new, smooth concrete floor.

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.

Stone Bank restoration, Bottineau,

Wow! What a difference. The basement is prepped and ready for a new concrete floor.  For  everyone who loves the Stone Bank, this  is a beautiful sight.

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!

May 28, 2015

Let’s Get This Done

Posted in History, Photos, Renovation, Stone Work, Updates, Volunteers tagged , at 10:00 pm by stonebankblog

The Stone Bank turns 115 in 2015 — and we are determined to get the back of the building up and the roof on.

Are you with us?

We hope so. Because Saturday, May 30, we are hauling the last bit of junk out of the basement to get ready for the next step!
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Are you with us?

We hope so.

A few extra hands will make short work of this — and you will be able to say: “Yes. I helped rebuild the Stone Bank.”

The next step? Thought you’d never ask.

With the last bit of junk out of the basement, our plumber will be able to rough-in the plumbing.

Then the basement floor will be poured… and then…

Drum roll: Floor joists and a floor!!!!!!!!!

We are meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30. Wear your work gloves and sensible shoes. No open toes — no matter how fabulous your pedicure is. (We expect to finish by no later than 11 a.m.)

If you can’t join our work crew, you can support the effort to restore this historic building. We need to match a grant with donations from the community. Can you help? Volunteers help with many things, but we do need to pay our contractors.

Hope to see you there on Saturday morning!

And thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

November 5, 2014

Why You Should Give

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Photos, Recommended Reading, Renovation, Updates, Volunteers at 11:27 pm by stonebankblog

We are at the turning point in our project. Actually, we are a little past the turning point. We are rebuilding the rear 20 feet of the Stone Bank. This is HUGE! As our stone mason Joe says: “We are out of the hole.”

Next up: roughing in the plumbing, pouring the concrete floor in our new basement and then installing the floor joists and rebuilding the walls.

Your contribution will help make it happen. We need to match a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota.

Following is a scan of a nice feature about the Stone Bank on the Minot Daily News.

Sorry about the quality of the scan — we can’t access the story electronically.

Hit Story.1 Hit Story2 Send donations to Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318. Or us our handy PayPal link.

Heck! Make a contribution and we will send you a copy of the article with your receipt.

Does your employer match your charitable contributions?

Touchstones is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and we will send you a receipt to get that match.

Let’s get the roof on!

Hope to see you Saturday at the Holiday Craft Fair at the Bottineau Armory.

 

 

 

 

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