April 3, 2017

It’s time to finish this…

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Life, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Promotions/Contests, Recommended Reading, Renovation, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:29 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s face it. WE are living in historic times! It was a winter of historic snowfall in Bottineau, but our friend Spring is finally pushing the snow into memory. It’s time to seize the moment and get back to the important work of enclosing the Stone Bank.

Of course, it’s always about the bottom line. That’s the challenge. And we are asking our classmates in the BHS Class of ’72 to lead the way. How? It’s easy.

front window

We are challenging each member of the Class of ’72 to donate $100 to restoring the Stone Bank. We have lost five classmates far too young, and it would be marvelous if each of us donated in memory of those friends as well.

Those $100 donations would bring $7,000 to a project that really needs a financial shot in the arm. Together, we can give the project a boost and inspire giving from others with ties to Bottineau.

Why the class of ’72? Good question. Well, two of your classmates have been doing the heavy lifting on this restoration project. Joe Whetter, is a stone mason and an amazing advocate and partner on this project. I (Sharon Kessler) founded a nonprofit, have coordinated fundraising and planning to advance the project since 2011.

Now, we really need your help. It’s easy to give online. You can give by credit card through PayPal, Razoo or GiveMN.

Or you can send a check: Touchstones, Inc., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

The time is now. We can’t do this alone. We need to make progress on the building in 2017 to keep the structure from deteriorating. It has been open to the elements for a couple of years. We need to show community participation and interest to generate grants — so your contribution really does make a difference. In total, we need to raise $58,000 to enclose the structure. Can you help?

Frankly, we are at a point in life, where many of us are thinking about legacy — the difference we made in the world. The good we will leave behind. This is a great chance for you to help preserve a piece of Bottineau history and make it useful for future generations of those who will call Bottineau home. Your $100 gift added to those of other classmates really will make a difference.

Please make a gift today, so we can move forward with restoring this community treasure. Let’s get this done, together.

sk joe at bank 2

Joe Whetter and Sharon Kessler, BHS Class of ’72

We would love to hear from you. Please send a note, your ideas and memories of Bottineau for the blog to touchstones.inc@gmail.com. Guest blog entries are also welcome.










September 7, 2015

Labor Day XXX’s and OOO’s

Posted in Bottineau, Photos, Renovation, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 11:24 am by stonebankblog

Let’s hear it for the working man… and woman. We hope you are taking a break and enjoying the day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Honor a loved one by dedicating a stone. Add to your T-shirt collection by making a $15 donation.

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

Stone Bank “Double-Wide”

Posted in Bottineau, History, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , at 6:53 pm by stonebankblog

YES. That is “our” Stone Bank — with an addition.

Historic photo of Stone Bank and an addition

The Stone Bank once had a very cool addition. The section to the right of the pillar was added on and shows in photos from the 1930s, and then it disappears.

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.

Bottineau County Bank from 1902 ad

The Stone Bank in a 1902, looking good on Bottineau's Main Street.

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

Stone Bank 1902

Posted in Bottineau, History, Main Street, Pictures, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 1:02 am by stonebankblog

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!

Stone Bank circa 1902

The Stone Bank in 1902, when it was Bottineau County Bank.

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.

Stone Bank-Bottineau in 2011

This picture shows that at some point the Stone Bank grew a little. Note how the configuration of the windows on the building's long side have changed.

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

What Comes Next?

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Renovation, Stone Work tagged , , , , , at 11:22 pm by stonebankblog

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.

Inside the two-foot-thick walls at the Stone Bank

At the bottom of this picture you can see the "face stones" of the Stone Bank. The stuff inside the bank's walls is riprap -- stone, sand, brick and other material.

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.

Coghlan Castle near St. John, ND

The work to restore the Coghlan Castle shows the construction technique that we'll use on the Stone Bank. The bank's dismantled walls will be rebuilt of concrete blocks, too.

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

Open Your Heart to the Stone Bank

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, History, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by stonebankblog

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.)

Stone Bank T-shirt

Our rockin' Stone Bank T-shirt! You should have one!

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

Inspired by Machu Picchu

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 1:58 pm by stonebankblog

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu taken from the start of the trail that leads UP to the Sun Gate.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

A Stone by Stone Story

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:15 am by stonebankblog

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!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

December 20, 2011

Calorie burning with Brandon

Posted in Dismantling the back, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , , at 8:30 pm by stonebankblog

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.

Dismantling work at the Stone Bank-Bottineau

Work on the Stone Bank has created a debris field, which needed to be cleared to allow more work on the back wall. The large stones in the foreground will be reused.

Demolition of the back wall of the Stone Bank-Bottineau

Brandon Person sorted the reusable stones from those being recycled and separated the debris field into piles. He Frisbeed a reject to the right pile.

Stones that are too heavy to lift, get rolled into place.

Working alone, Brandon Person, rolled a large stone onto a pallet. These rocks are being saved for reuse. Asked how much the stone weighed, Brandon said: "A lot."

Stone from the Stone Bank will be repurposed.

Brandon held up a stone that could find new life on a book shelf. Stone mason Joe Whetter is going to turn some leftover stones into bookends this winter. Much of the stone will be reused, and the riprap (inside the walls) is being donated to the Bottineau County Road Department. It will be reused on road projects.

December 10, 2011

Stone Bank Update

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:46 pm by stonebankblog

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.

Roofing, Stone Bank, restoration, history, preservation

Here's an overview of the partial dismantling project of the Stone Bank-Bottineau. The dark (asphalt) section of the roof will be removed next week. The many layers of old roofing are heavy and really stuck on the beams.

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.

Stone Bank, restoration, history, Bottineau, North Dakota

Looking down to the part of the Stone Bank being dismantled. The three roof beams that finally came down are leaning inside now. At top left in this picture, is the ridge where the new roof membrane ends.

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!