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.
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 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!
March 6, 2012
That’s the question the Stone Bank family has been asked again … and again.
Why would seemingly sane people take on a gargantuan task — costly — time-consuming — backbreaking — mind-bending? Why? Indeed.
Here’s your Stone Bank Blogger’s reason: When I was a teenager, my family lived a block from the old Bottineau County Courthouse — a marvelous 1900 structure. Three stories, a tower, wonderful windows. Inside were oak floors, a great staircase and satiny oak woodwork. It was a striking and memorable building.
Then in the 1970s the push was made to replace the building with something new. Something modern. I don’t know all the politics, because I was a mere wisp of a girl then. But in the end, the old building was demolished and a new, low,modern structure replaced it.
Worse yet, they started building the new courthouse behind the old one and then tore down the 1900 building. The result? The new courthouse is oddly situated on its lot. Too much front yard. An uninteresting, charmless, and bland building. Sure, many things inside the new courthouse are probably better than in the old building — but for sheer visual impact and a sense of place the new courthouse is about 100 steps back from its predecessor.
The “loss” of the old courthouse has bothered me for years. We have lost other interesting structures in Bottineau, but this one was a biggie for me.
So wonder no more — this is the “why” of my work on the Stone Bank Project. (I have heard many of my school chums voice the same regret about the old courthouse.)
We were too young and too inexperienced to do much about it.
But that was then. This is now.
Our goal now is to give the Stone Bank a happier ending.
The Stone Bank — another charming, historic structure, really began to deteriorate over the past few years. And I asked everyone “what is happening here?” That question was mostly met with shrugs and the obligatory, “Gee, someone should do something.”
Yes. SOMEONE SHOULD. And sometimes that SOMEONE is ME or YOU.
How often do we have to mourn the loss of a town’s identity and its landmarks before we step up and say “I can help with that.”
So, in 2011, a handful of friends formed a nonprofit and began to work with the building’s owner to find a solution. In the end, we bought the building and worked like crazy to keep the city from condemning it and tearing it down. To its credit the city did relent and give our project a $20,000 loan to start the renovation project.
But we have a long way to go. The fight goes on. But will be worth the effort?
In the end, we will have a “fine, stone building” even better than the original that will stand another 100 or 200 years. It will stand shining on Main Street for the world to see that we care about our town’s history and its landmarks.
And we will know that we did what we could. Because we could. It was our turn. We’re grownups now.
Here’s a quote from the “When I Have Time” blog about this very topic.
… no one will be there to give you permission to act. To try. To succeed. And to fail. No one will take you by the hand and say, “Now it’s time. You’re ready.” No one will be so sure to say, “Don’t worry, you won’t fail.” No one will lay their hand on yours as you click that submit button, as you fill out that form, as you sign up for that chance, as you raise your hand.
Here’s a link to the blog, if you want to read the whole post: http://whenihavetime.com/2012/02/16/stop-sabotaging-your-own-success-a-manifesto/
Never forget that we are the world that we create. So get out there and make a difference. And if you want to share your talents with the Stone Bank Project — join us! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s my “why” — what is yours? Leave a comment!
March 2, 2012
No matter how you found us, we’re glad you’re here and checking in on the Stone Bank. And don’t forget to check out our website http://StoneBank.org.
What will you find on the Stone Bank website? All of our videos are on the video page. There are some historic pictures and a fun tab called “Fabulous N.D.”
And it’s also where you will find a link to buy one of our snazzy Stone Bank T-shirts (a must-have for spring).
March 1, 2012
History. Is. Sometimes. Elusive. At least on the Stone Bank front.
A collection of pioneer-era newspapers at the County Courthouse sometimes yields a clue or at least something interesting. Here’s an 1897 ad from the Bottineau Courant. Guess what? It looks like the bank was selling reliability and trust.
Remember, what we now call the Stone Bank was originally Bottineau County Bank — the first bank in the county. Our research shows that the men named in this ad were in the second group that owned the bank — probably the group that built the Stone Bank. (A two-story woodframe building was moved to another site to make room for the Stone Bank.)
Let us know if you like this post, and we’ll post more historic information as we uncover it.
February 20, 2012
Here’s a great post from our friends at the UWECPeru blog. And it’s not about stones or stone builders.
It’s about weaving your own life and story, beauty, and finding your voice and passion amid adversity. Hope you enjoy it. It’s pretty inspiring.
Like every day in Peru, our last day exceeded expectations. We flew from Cuzco back to Lima and bused directly from the airport to the home of Peru’s most acclaimed textile artist, Máximo Laura. A longtime friend and associate of ArtAndes owner Melanie Ebertz, Laura gave us a tour of his workshop, where he employs about 15 weavers, and his personal collection of richly colored and textured wall hangings.
Laura grew up in the same mountainous Ayachuco area as Wilbur Quispe, and he likewise suffered persecution during Peru’s civil war with the Shining Path in the 1980s and ’90s. The government imprisoned him as a suspected Marxist, but when the war wound down, he took up weaving (as had four generations of his family before him) and raised it to an artform.
Moving beyond the natural dyes and fibers of his ancestors, Laura used modern synthetic threads and bright colors to give new life…
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December 8, 2011
For those who said it would be “a cold day in Bottineau” before anything was done about the Stone Bank — you better put on your thermals, because something is happening.
During the past week, our contractor has been preparing the interior of the building for what comes next.
And that is?
— The roof over the back 20 feet of the structure will be removed.
— The back wall will be pulled down.
— The dismantling of a section of the side wall will continue.
(Not necessarily in that order.)
There is no master plan and untold variables are at play here. Our stone mason and general contractor have a plan and we will see how it all comes together. Or apart!
Any questions? Comment here and we will do our best to get the answers.