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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!
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 20, 2013

Beauty in the Work

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures tagged , at 11:58 pm by stonebankblog

Maybe it’s the stone. Maybe it’s the guys. But there is something so timeless about many of the pictures we have taken of the work on the Stone Bank. Here is one of my favorites. It was taken in November of 2011, as Joe and his crew started taking down the first course of stones on the bank’s south wall.

Stone Bank project, Bottineau, ND

Nov. 22, 2011: Stone mason Joe Whetter began taking down 20 feet of the Stone Bank.

Nearly two years ago to the day — we were taking the bank building apart. It has been an amazing process. Now we are hard at work putting it back together again.

Check out all of our NaBloPoMo posts — this is Day 20 and we haven’t run out of things to talk about on the topic: Stone Bank.

October 26, 2013

Action! Rebuild Underway

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Photos, Pictures, Updates tagged , at 1:35 pm by stonebankblog

Yes. Yes. YES. The rebuild of the rear 20 feet of the Stone Bank is underway.

History: The back of the building was dismantled in 2011 and 2012, because it was sitting on shallow footings, and over time some structural issues had developed.

Solution: Dismantle the back of the building, excavate the crawl space, put down big-time footings and a basement. Next spring we will rebuild the back 20 feet and reattach the original stone façade.

This week:  Our crew compacted the soil, added fill and readied the site for building basement walls under the back section of the bank. And we are off!

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

Reinforced concrete footings were poured in Aug. 2013.


This week, Adrian Suchan removed soggy earth from the pit. Recent heavy rain saturated the site. With the soggy soil removed, new fill was added and compacted.


Concrete blocks were stacked on the rear footing. The area in front of the blocks  is covered in new fill ready to be smoothed.


Adrian Suchan runs the compaction machine past what was the support for the bank’s vault. This wall will be repaired in coming days so the building remains as solid as a rock.


Adrian works to compact the soil around the new footings. Once the site is prepped, the stone mason can begin building the foundation walls.


Crew member Scott Randall shoveled fill into the pit as Andrian packed down the soil. It was a beautiful day for outdoor work with the temperature near 50 degrees.


Adrian smooths the fill that Scott has tossed into the pit.


Getting there. Nearly ready for building the basement walls. The compacted earth is now level with the footings. The footing at center (from the blue bucket to the wheelbarrow) will support the wheelchair lift at the back of the building.


Scott tosses a shovelful of fill. He was skilled at not showering Adrian with the fill.


As sunset neared, the site was nearly ready for the rebuild. The lower section of the building is the original outside wall of the bank. The 20-foot addition from the 1930s was built over a crawl space. Now, the back section will have a proper basement and sturdy footings.

We are so excited to report this important progress on the Stone Bank. In the next few weeks, the basement walls will be up and the floor deck installed. We will pause for winter and the get back to rebuilding the back of the bank next spring. Can you help? Dedicate a stone, buy a T-shirt or just make a donation. Other than insurance and snow-removal costs, we have very little overhead. Your donation goes right into bricks and mortar for this project.

Donate on this page or on our website. It’s easy and you will be helping save a great building on Bottineau’s Main Street.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.

September 8, 2012

Ahh, the beauty of flowers

Posted in Bottineau, Main Street, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 11:57 am by stonebankblog

Blooming flowers add a nice touch to the Stone Bank’s front facade.

Summer brings a bit of extra color to flower boxes on Bottineau’s Main Street. We are lucky to have one of the planters in full bloom outside the Stone Bank. It looks just great against the bank’s warm stone exterior.

What’s up with the project? We are working to raise $20,000 in matching funds for a State Historical Society grant, so work can proceed on the back of the building. We’re hoping to start work in October. Can you help? There is a PayPal link on this page, or you can send a check to Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main St., PO Box 272. Bottineau, ND 58318.

We recently had a nice $2,500 donation from Otter Tail Power. That’s a great start for our fall work. Jump in. Every dollar helps. Seriously, every dollar helps.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.