November 17, 2016
Today is Give to the Max Day, which is an initiative started by GiveMN, an offshoot of Minnesota Community Foundation. And here we are, a couple residing in Wisconsin most of the year, asking people from Minnesota and beyond to make donations to a nonprofit restoration project in remote Bottineau, North Dakota.
Why, considering all of the other nonprofits with great causes closer to home, should you make a contribution to the Stone Bank Project today?
Maybe because we need it more than most. Maybe because you’re a supportive friend. Or maybe because you realize that they’re not hand-building Main Street anchors out of millennial-old stone boulders anymore. If this project fails and they tear down this landmark, we all lose a part of our pioneer history that is unrecoverable, unique and yet universal.
The State Historical Society of North Dakota has recognized this with a $20,000 grant to the Stone Bank Project that must be matched, dollar for dollar, by April 15. That’s where you come in. Every dollar you contribute to the Stone Bank on Give to the Max Day or any day goes directly toward matching that grant and, ultimately, paying for the $58,000 worth of work our contractors will do to enclose the back quarter of the Stone Bank building.
As you can see in the slide show on our fresh new home page, StoneBank.org, we have raised the funds to excavate a basement foundation, install a heated concrete floor and raise concrete-block support walls. The materials for the first floor decking are here. Now we need to fund their installation, the raising of the support walls to the roof and the extension of the insulated membrane roof already on the front three-quarters of the building.(Much of this work can proceed now — if we can pay the contractors. So give today.)
We are so close to getting this done. The only thing we need is a financial boost to pay for the labor and materials. And we really need to enclose the building, which as been partially open to the elements for a couple of years. That exposure takes a toll — so in 2016 your support is critical.(We pay no salaries, all donations go directly to project costs.)
Please include the Stone Bank in your Give to the Max contributions today and beyond. (And if the Give to the Max site is down or too slow, please use our gofundme page — or send us a good old-fashioned check, made out to our nonprofit, Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.) Thank you!
Sharon and Mike
August 1, 2015
July 11, 2015
OK. Sure. It looks like a muddy hole in the ground.
But we look in that hole and see PROGRESS!
Why? Because, dear friends, that black round object in the photo below is a sewage lift pump that has been installed in the Stone Bank’s new basement.
We had to wait through the winter and a very chilly spring to have the pump installed. It has seals that can’t be exposed to extreme cold. And then, we had to wait our turn for a very busy plumber.
But finally. The lift pump is in and we are moving forward.
Here’s what you’re seeing in the photo above: At rear is the original foundation of the Stone Bank building from 1900. The section of the building that we dismantled was sitting on shallow footings — and from the opening at left, there was only a crawl space under the back of the building. At right, you can see the new foundation wall that extends 20 feet from the back of the building. Deep footings and a proper basement are ready to support the building again. With the plumbing roughed in, the work is progressing on finishing the basement floor in poured concrete.
We must complete this part of the project by the end of July to collect a grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. We need your help to make this happen.
This is the time to make a donation. Every penny donated will go toward rebuilding the back of this wonderful, historic building on Bottineau’s Main Street.
Make a contribution today. We really need everyone’s support to move this from mud to marvelous!
Send a check to: Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.
Find our PayPal and Razoo online giving accounts on the side panel of the blog!
Thanks to all of our longtime supporters. If you have been waiting to give. NOW is really a good time.
December 18, 2014
Someone asked me today about “that castle in North Dakota,” and I knew exactly what they meant. It’s time to revisit a blog post about the beautiful Coghlan Castle near St. John, ND.
Make a donation to help restore the Stone Bank and I will meet you in ND and take you to see the castle (and, of course, the Stone Bank).
$5 million! That’s how much it would take to completely repair and restore the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D.
Not going to happen, says Becky Leonard, the spark plug behind saving this striking and rare stone building.
Becky and other Coghlan Castle fans have worked hard to stabilize the building and to make critical repairs to keep it standing. More stone will be reattached to the facade — but, for now, that’s about where the project will stand.
This year’s goal is to install an interpretive sign near the castle, so interested passersby can stop, take a look and go away knowing “what the heck that building is.”
I have misplaced my notes from my lunch with Becky, who has been involved in historic preservation for years. But she is to be complimented for pushing hard to save this building.
She said the the architect hopes to some day…
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December 13, 2014
We are feeling kind of philosophical as the end of the year draws near. We are proud of our progress on restoring the bank and eager for what comes next.
Yes. We are looking ahead with optimism to the next step in our project. In 2015, we WILL raise the back of the building and put the roof on. PERIOD. We are ready to go. Our greatest concern is hiring the help to do the heavy lifting.
Because of the oil boom in North Dakota, it has been excessively difficult to find the skilled labor (plumber, electrician and contractor) that we need to get this done. With oil prices down, the prediction is that oil exploration will slow. That could be good new for us — because some of the building trades guys might have time to work with us.
We also need to match a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. That will go a long way to enclosing the building in 2015. (We actually hope to get the floor joists in place this winter — as soon as the plumber finishes his work in our brand new basement.)
As you make your charitable gifts at the end of 2014, please make a gift to the Stone Bank restoration. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your gift is tax deductible. Your gift will move the Stone Bank closer to its new life as a working building on Bottineau’s Main Street! We are on the right road!
Learn more about the project, the bank’s history, make a contribution or dedicate a stone on our website.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
October 27, 2014
We posted this challenge more than a year ago, and we had our first giver! Our friend Jean handed over her penny jar and we hope you will follow her lead. We are trying to fill a huge pickle jar with change on Nov. 9 at the fall craft fair at the Bottineau Armory.
Today is not only Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but it is also National Lost Penny Day.
According to giftypdia.com (all about gifts and celebrations): “The first U.S. penny was minted in 1787 and was made of pure copper and was designed by Benjamin Franklin. On February 12th, 1909, marking the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the first Lincoln penny was issued. It was the first regular issue U.S. coin to honor an actual person. On Lost Penny Day, gather all those pennies you have been collecting and cash them in.”
So, do you have a dish or jar full of pennies that you have set aside? Why not cash them in and give the proceeds to the Stone Bank for its restoration project?
“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” – Abraham Lincoln.
A gift to the Stone Bank, no matter how small…
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October 26, 2014
Greetings! We have had a rather long hiatus from the blog — but rest assured we are still hard at work on restoring the Stone Bank. In fact, we are working on rebuilding the back 20 feet of the building … and we need your help.
We have a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota and we need a dollar-for-dollar match.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to help. How about sharing your spare change like our friend Jean did!
Every penny will help us put the Stone Bank back together again.
We will be at the Fall Craft Show at the Bottineau Armory on Saturday, November 8. Help us fill our pickle jar with coins to benefit the Stone Bank. Stop by and say hi, buy a T-shirt or dedicate a Stone. We always love to talk about the project.
December 6, 2013
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela.
We are inspired by his patience and wisdom.
It isn’t impossible. We will get it done.
November 10, 2013
Here’s a Stone Bank friend, Karen M., on her journey home from a visit to Bottineau. Look! Look! Karen wore her lovely Stone Bank T-shirt on the journey. Where are you wearing your Stone Bank T? We would love to share your photo here during #NaBloPoMo. Don’t have a T-shirt yet? Order one online or stop by 4J’s Sporting Goods on Main Street in Bottineau and pick one up. They make excellent traveling wear and stocking stuffers.
October 25, 2013
Check out our fabulous ND pics on our website.