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.


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!


January 14, 2013

2012 in review

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 11:21 pm by stonebankblog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for the Stone Bank Blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

October 13, 2012

Bad Buildings in Nice Towns

Posted in Endangered buildings, History, Life, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , at 9:56 pm by stonebankblog

Why are you saving that old building?

That’s what some people have asked us about our effort to save the Stone Bank.

“Drive up to Deloraine,” we respond. “That is why.”

Deloraine is a Canadian town about 25 miles from Bottineau. A boom town at the turn of the 20th century, its bustling commercial district had many buildings of brick and stone. But that was then.

Thanks to a photo display in the entry of the Rendezvous Restaurant, we can see that  Deloraine.  Today’s Deloraine is a different story. This slideshow is a cautionary tale about what gives a town its sense of place and how it can be lost, even though a few traces of  the past remain.

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Your Stone Bank blogger doesn’t know how or why Deloraine’s fine buildings were lost. Fire is a likely culprit in some cases — but in others “progress” was probably the reason some buildings were taken down.

Deloraine is a fine town with nice people and a good restaurant. The display of  flags from around the globe is impressive. But wouldn’t it be a better town with some of those grand old buildings still standing and in use? We think so.

Any town can become Deloraine —  all it takes is indifference, forgetting history and substituting cheap and serviceable buildings for those that are elegant and enduring.  Towns all across the  country face the same fate if someone doesn’t take up the challenge to save the great buildings. (There are plenty of Deloraines in North Dakota.)

The Stone Bank Project  is our effort to save a great building in Bottineau. It’s not easy. It’s probably not even sensible. But it does matter.

We’d love to see your comments!

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!