September 7, 2015
Let’s hear it for the working man… and woman. We hope you are taking a break and enjoying the day.
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.
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
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!
May 28, 2015
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.
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
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.
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.
June 12, 2014
As you might recall from our earlier blog posts, it was immigrants from Scotland, Scandinavia, Ireland and Canada who built the Stone Bank in 1900. Now, 114 years later, it’s visitors from Nepal, Cambodia, Cuba, India and Germany — not to mention Minnesota and Wisconsin — who are helping to renovate the Stone Bank building.
A team of eight Fulbright Scholars, plus four of their family members, came to Bottineau this week to visit a part of the U.S. they had never seen before and volunteer their services on the historic Stone Bank Project. The 12 of them spent two long days scraping, sanding and priming every wood window frame on the building.
Many hands make short(er) work, and now the window frames will at least stop deteriorating — until we have the funds to replace them with new windows that are energy efficient yet historic looking. We can’t thank the Fulbrighters enough for their efforts, which were beyond the call of duty even for them.
But we did give them each a spiffy Stone Bank “Preservation Rocks!” T-shirt. We’ll give you one, too, if you come work on our renovation project. Or if you can’t make it to Bottineau anytime soon, you can still get a Stone Bank T-shirt here, for a donation of $15 or more. Please consider donating much more, just as the Fulbrighters did, because we have $60,000 worth of work to do on the building’s exterior this year, and we need to at least match our new $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
You don’t have to be from Kathmando or Phnom Penh to donate time or money to the Stone Bank Project. We’re happy to take contributions from Bottineau or Bismarck, too. Make yours today, and you’ll feel as smart as a Fulbright Scholar by tomorrow!
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!