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!
November 18, 2014
What’s this? The original Stone Bank puzzle back in action?
Indeed. And “in action” a long, long way from Bottineau. This old Stone Bank puzzle is now entertaining folks (and perhaps puzzling them) at a community center near Phoenix!
Thanks to our friend Jane for sending the photos. We love it when folks near and far offer a hand in fixing the Stone Bank, even if it is only putting the puzzle together.
Want to help? Your contribution will help us rebuild the back 20 feet of the building!
Be like Jane! She recently sent a contribution using the PayPal link on this page. Our mailing address is also in the right column. We would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
October 25, 2013
Check out our fabulous ND pics on our website.
July 18, 2013
Waiting is not my strong suit. But this week in Bottineau, waiting and then waiting some more is on the menu.
Nearly daily thunderstorms are making it impossible to pour the concrete footings for rebuilding the back section of the building.
So, we are waxing philosophical — and waiting for dry weather.
We aren’t squandering our time … we’re biding it until we can get rolling again. See below for what we’re up against.
Stay tuned. We will be moving very soon — for us that’s the stuff life is made of!
We would love to hear from you! Send questions, comments and donations. All the buttons are installed on this page!
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
December 20, 2012
December 21, 1900
Today is a big deal for the Stone Bank family, because it is the 112th anniversary of when Bottineau County Bank’s staff moved from their temporary quarters into the charming, stone building that we now call the Stone Bank.
More amazing, because construction on the stone building had taken fewer than six months. Bottineau Courant Editor Scott Wagar searched old newspapers and found the details.
And 100 years from now, or next year, we can celebrate the anniversary of when work continued to dismantle a stone wall to make way for a new foundation. Pictures and details coming soon. Or scroll down to the next post and learn more about the status of our project.
It’s cooooooooooooooold in North Dakota, so wish our stone mason and his crew well as they work on the Stone Bank over the next couple of weeks. We still need to raise about $15,000 to dig the foundation in the spring and raise the back of the building again. We saved the stone, and the Stone Bank will look the same, but the nagging structural flaw will be fixed.
We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit, so if you are looking for a great, historic project for an end-of-year charitable contribution — we would be most grateful.
Here’s another little item from the Bottineau newspaper in 1900.
Best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season from your friends at the Stone Bank! And a special virtual hug to all the generous folks who share the dream of seeing the Stone Bank reborn and put back to use!
June 15, 2012
It would tell us that it should stand for another 100 years.
But it can’t speak for itself, so the McLean County Heritage Preservation Foundation wants to set the record straight.
Last week, the nonprofit group created and placed an ad in the local paper to dispel a persistent misconception about the endangered 1907 courthouse. A misconception that is further endangering the old courthouse.
In an email, Betty Kost, who is a member of the McLean heritage group, told the Stone Bank Blog that there is confusion about the difference between bat guano and histoplasmosis spores — and that the local news reports have said the building is contaminated, when the scientific tests show that it is not.
Here’s a quote from Betty’s email:
“After 3 years of testing was done in the newer and older portion [of the courthouse] on air, surface and guano testing, no positive tests were found until one positive histoplasmosis sample was found in an air sample, (not in bat guano), in the newer addition. A hepa filter was used, and no more positive tests were found.”
Betty notes that histoplasmosis spores can be found anywhere — in chicken coops, barns or other places where that birds roost — and can be carried on birds’ wings, beaks and feet. Hunters, landscapers, farmers etc. can transport the spores on their clothing or shoes, too. But bats can get it in their systems and spread it in their guano. This does not mean that the spores found in the courthouse were brought by bats. The courthouse serves many hunters, landscapers, and farmers, so it easily could have come from a different source.
The point, the preservation group says, is that the courthouse is NOT contaminated. Period.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to see this lovely, historic building demolished for no good reason. It’s not a threat or a danger, so why not give this group time to create a plan for reusing it?
So, if you can, why not send the McLean County Historic Preservation group your encouragement, your ideas and even some cash? They have a big fight on their hands to save this building. (Contact info. is in their ad.) And you can contact the county commissioners at the addresses listed in the ad, too.
And give a “like” to this post! It’s always good to know the message is getting out!
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
June 6, 2012
The Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden is a rather squat, nondescript, small modern building, but it’s worth taking a few minutes to contemplate the great quotes carved into stone slabs along the walls and to enjoy the serenity. Not sure of the type of stone, but it has many fossils, a marvelous veined texture — and, of course, the quotes.
Did you know that the Peace Garden is located conveniently near the Stone Bank? Just checking. This material may be on the test. (We will post some more “Stone Quotes” from time to time.)
Here’s a link to the Peace Garden’s website. It’s one of those places that gets better every year.
Please click the “like” button if you enjoyed this post! Thanks for checking out the Stone Bank Blog.
June 5, 2012
As a champion of all things stone, the Stone Bank blog has to tip its hat to a successful restoration project in Granville, N.D.
Granville is a small town about 20 miles from Minot in north-central North Dakota. This grand old stone bank building, completed in 1903, has been recently and lovingly restored. Beyond the restoration, an addition has increased the size and flexibility of the space.
Adaptive re-use, anyone?
The Granville building is among dozens of great old bank buildings that dot the ND landscape — including our own Stone Bank. And the Granville project demonstrates how durable and adaptable these great old buildings are. The Granville bank has something else in common with the Stone Bank — it became insolvent in 1923.
Here’s a link to a story in the Minot Daily News that describes the Granville Bank restoration and how the building is now being reused.
From the Stone Bank crew — BRAVO!
What do you think of this success story? Leave us a comment, because we love hearing from you.
And remember, our project is chugging along, but we need to raise matching funds for the $20,000 grant we recently received from the Historical Society of North Dakota. It’s easy to send us a donation. Think of Granville’s success and click the PayPal link in the right-hand column. We need your support right now! And as always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
April 15, 2012
Lucky! That’s how we feel at the Stone Bank when we consider our architect.
Why? Because Bobbi Hepper Olson has done this before.
Seriously. Been there. Done that.
Hepper Olson has her own stone bank — in Buxton, ND. She tackled a project much more daunting than ours. When she took on the project in 2005, the floor had collapsed and there was a mold problem. She not only persisted and accomplished the restoration, but she found an adaptive re-use for the bank. It’s now part-museum, part-community meeting space — and she added space to the back for her architecture firm.
The Buxton Bank — built in 1893 — is very similar in style to our Stone Bank. But that’s likely because the size of Buxton and Bottineau dictated the size of the banks, and because of prevailing building styles of the 1890s. But that’s just a theory.
Bobbi knows a bit more about the history of her bank — and she can show you the bullet holes from a 1933 robbery that left one of the bank’s cashiers dead. The robbery was never solved.
Here’s a slideshow of the Buxton Bank — restored and in use. It’s a great example for us as we work toward that very goal on another stone building about 200 miles to the northwest.
Bobbi has a nice website about her project. Check it out at http;//BuxtonInBloom.com
Lucky? Yes. The Stone Bank is very lucky to have an architect who really has been there and done this before.
We’ll also feel lucky if you “Like” this post.
April 3, 2012
What do we have here? It’s the Stone Bank’s backside! (Tee-hee.)
This picture shows how far we have come and how much we have to do in 2012.
The stones stacked and wrapped in the foreground were saved when the back 20 feet of the bank was dismantled. Saved? Yes. The stones will be reused when we rebuild the back section of the bank over a new foundation. The stone wall to the left in this photo will also be dismantled as part of this year’s work. (Sadly, it’s too damaged to salvage.)
In addition to the QR code posted in three of the bank’s windows, we have also attached a banner to the temporary wall in the back of the building guiding passersby to our Web page. Never been there? Check it out at www.StoneBank.org.
We are excited to get to work on the project this building season, and we made the deadline last week to submit a grant proposal to the Historical Society of North Dakota. Whew!
But a grant from the Historical Society won’t pay full freight. We’re searching for other funding sources, too. Any ideas? Leave a comment and we will look into all good ideas. Oh, and your Stone Bank Blogger will send a little stone from the bank to the reader offering the best idea! (LITTLE, I promise.)
And, as always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!