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!
February 27, 2012
YES. That is “our” Stone Bank — with an addition.
We have no documentation of when that part of the building was constructed, but it was demolished and replaced after a fire — or two. (Roofers found charred roof timbers and the stone mason found soot on part of a stone wall at the back of the building.)
And one of our architects tells us that although the two sides of this building shared a facade that the interior spaces were not connected. By the time this photo was taken there was a dental office in the left side of the building.
Here’s the 1902 picture for comparison.
Initially, we thought the “double-wide” was the original Stone Bank, but when the 1902 photo surfaced, we realized that we DO have the original structure. If you scan down the left side of the building, you will see the building has been altered since the 1902 picture. (Note the configuration of the windows.)
Also note there is no pillar at the front entrance and you can see a sliver of daylight to the right of the building.
Stay tuned for more pictures. We’ll share them and the building’s history as we find them.
February 16, 2012
Finding good pictures of the Stone Bank has proved to be an exasperating challenge. We have a few pictures that vaguely show the bank in a general Main Street shot. But that was all!
So, imagine your Stone Bank blogger’s delight at finding a copy of a 1902 book “Bottineau Illustrated 1901-1902,” tucked away in the reference section of the Bottineau County Library.
It had a single sentence about what was then known as Bottineau County Bank. But the big score was an ad with a picture of the bank. Ka-CHING!
To date, it’s the best “historic” picture we have found. And here it is!
Compare the profile of the bank in the 1902 photo to the more contemporary picture of the building, below. It’s clear the building was altered at some point. Where there was one arched window on the south side, there are now THREE. And the building is longer than in the historic photo. Interesting.
So. There you go. It’s a bit of a mystery, because we don’t have a lot of written history and precious few photos, but we learn as we go. And we will keep trying to discover the bank’s early history.
* Note: The back 20 feet of the building was dismantled in late 2011 and early this year. At the left of the picture, the area around the back two windows and door is temporarily gone.
February 13, 2012
Your Stone Bank family is pleased at the progress we’ve made on saving our 1890s bank building. But what comes next?
Rebuilding, of course.
But that is going to take some time and — a bit of money. Quite a bit money.
As the back of the building was recently being dismantled, we got to see what was inside those two-foot-thick walls. Riprap, baby.
When the back section of the building is rebuilt — the area inside the walls will be very different. Concrete blocks will be used and the face stones will be placed atop them.
Here’s a picture of the Coghlan Castle near St. John, N.D., and it shows how the face stone is being reapplied over concrete blocks in that project.
Here’s a link to and National Park Service site about the Coghlan Castle.
It’s a great project to save another marvelous North Dakota landmark. And our stone mason says that structure was in much worse condition than ours — and it’s being saved. We take that as a cue to keep moving forward.
Feeling generous? We have a PayPal link on our website: http://StoneBank.org
We love the encouragement.
February 6, 2012
Your Stone Bank blogger is working on the Stone Bank’s finances — and, well, our project is running on empty.
We had cost overruns with roofing and the dismantling of the back of the building. And we want to pay our contractors!
Can you give us a boost? Any amount will help and for anyone contributing $50 or more, your Stone Bank blogger will throw in a nifty and stylish Stone Bank T-shirt! (But, quantities are limited, so don’t dawdle.)
Go to http://StoneBank.org for our PayPal link or send a check to Touchstones, Inc. at 511 Ohmer St. in Bottineau, ND 58318.
(T-shirts come in women’s and men’s styles.)
Thanks for your interest in the Stone Bank!
February 1, 2012
Your Stone Bank blogger is just back from a trip to Peru — talk about stonework!
The Inca genius for stacking stone is AWESOME (an overused word and perfect in this case) Truly, Machu Picchu is awe-inspiring, breathtaking, incredible, dazzling.
The Incas are gone — but their buildings stand and bear witness to the fact that building with stone is building to last — a very long time.
Here’s a brief slideshow of our day at Machu Picchu.
If you are interested in travel to Peru, check out Art Andes. Melanie Ebertz has been traveling and working in Peru since 1985. Here’s a link to her website.
January 28, 2012
Seeing the back of the Stone Bank dismantled doesn’t tell the whole story. Our stone mason, Joe Whetter, carefully removed each stone by hand. He has been at work since the end of November, and he meticulously removed stone from around a door and two big windows. As he worked, the back of the Stone Bank disappeared a little each day.
Gone with it is the fear of condemnation and demolition. But don’t worry: Our plan is to rebuild it over a new foundation.
Here is a slide show of the dismantling process. Thanks to Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant, who contributed these photos. (Please remember to “Like” our blog posts, because it matters to our Google ranking. Thank you!)
December 20, 2011
Brandon Person — a member of the stone mason’s crew — drew the short straw on Dec. 20 and had to separate the good stone from the lime, mortar, wood and other chaff that has piled up behind the Stone Bank.
He lugged, rolled and stacked the stones. He sorted and stacked the wood.
This guy deserves a jelly doughnut — or two.
With the refuse pile out of the way, work can continue on dismantling the back of the building.
December 10, 2011
Pictures! Thanks to Scott Wagar for clambering atop a neighboring roof to get a look from the topside at the Stone Bank work.
What’s going on here?
This picture shows that there are only three, maybe four, roof beams to remove on the “bad” old part of the roof. The work ends where you see the lip of the new “good” roof membrane.
As we reported in yesterday’s post, the Stone Bank proved that it really was built to last. These photos give a great look at how thick the walls are. Stone — layers, leveled and sturdy.
So, stone by stone and beam by beam the “bad” roof is coming off the back 20 feet of the building.
And once the beams are down, the work taking down 20 feet of the south wall can continue.
Wish us good luck and good weather!