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!
December 31, 2013
It has been a really busy year at the Stone Bank — and it has been a year where we have made important progress — and have done a LOT of heavy lifting.
- Our stone mason finished dismantling the back section of the bank in the spring of 2013.
- We did some problem-solving around the issue of putting in a new foundation during the summer months, which included shoring up the foundation of the neighboring building and dealing with a wet spot.
- Wonderful Monte Mikkelsen and his crew from Mikkelsen Aggregates donated time and equipment to excavate the pit for the new foundation.
- Footings were poured and the new foundation began to rise in the fall, where none had existed before.
- By late in the fall, the foundation was up to grade and we are in a great position to finish raising the back section in 2014.
We couldn’t have done it without support from the Historical Society of ND and donations from Otter Tail Power, the Bottineau County Board, Preservation ND, Turtle Mountain Communications, St. Michel Furniture, the State Bank of Bottineau and dozens of individuals who made donations, dedicated a stone, bought T-shirts and volunteered their time to help move the project forward. Thank you!
But — we need to ask again. Can you write another check? We plan to make big progress in 2014. For starters, we will complete rebuilding the back 20 feet of the building and put the roof on. Then we need to get the old bank ready for its new life with plumbing and heating and renovating the interior!
Early in 2014, we are going to begin the process of finding a tenant or tenants for this swell building. Any ideas? We would love to hear them.
We are so excited for the Stone Bank’s potential to be a historic anchor for Bottineau’s Main Street. But we can’t get it done without community support. Remember, Touchstones, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donation is tax deductible.
So end 2013 with a glad tidings of support for the Stone Bank. This project is preserving a piece of Bottineau history — and helping the building play a role in Bottineau’s future.
Our fundraising goal for 2014 is $50,000. Every dollar helps.
Let’s keep it going! The hardest part is behind us and the fun part is here.
Our mailing address is: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318
Or you can make a donation online using PayPal or Razoo. Links are on the right column of this page.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog.
November 30, 2013
The moment you’ve all been waiting for … our last post for National Blog Posting Month 2013.
Before we close out the month, we’d like to thank everyone who shared this journey, commented and sent photos. Your input made it a lot more fun to come up with 30 daily posts. Don’t be shy — we are always open to ideas, photos and commentary for months without a theme.
We also need to thank a few more wonderful Stone Bank friends — who are there when we need them. They have championed our project, worked for little or no pay and have been total rock stars!
Of course, there are countless others who have stepped up, donated and said a kind word. It’s good to pause and remember that this really is a community project — and we are grateful for every kindness and courtesy. We truly wouldn’t have made this happen without you.
But we are not done. So, stay tuned. Dedicate a stone. Buy a T-shirt. Wish us well.
We wanted to end #NaBloPoMo with a bang. So, here it is.
Thanks for your support.
November 8, 2013
As longtime readers of the Stone Bank blog can attest, at times we get a little philosophical around here.
Today’s deep thought: (in honor of Week 2 of National Blog Posting Month)
Some of you have asked where we found these great quotes etched in limestone.
Answer: In the Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden.
May you have deep thoughts and a great weekend. Thanks for reading the blog.
April 3, 2013
With the weather finally improving, stone mason Joe Whetter has gotten back to work on the Stone Bank.
Job #1 is to take down the North Wall to make way for foundation work, and Joe has been moving stone for a couple of days. Behind the Stone Bank’s North Wall is the concrete block wall of the building next door. Joe says there is a gap of several inches between the buildings — whew. Much easier for him to remove stone that is NOT attached to the building next door. (Joe actually worked on the concrete block wall in the 1970s!)
And while he dismantles it, the North Wall is telling Joe a bit of its history. For instance, he said it is clear that the masons who put up this wall ran out of “medium” stones, because there were LARGE stones — 300 pounds — along the top rows. What does that mean? Joe suggests that the long-ago masons ran short of stones cut to the right dimensions, wanted to finish and just used what they had on hand to get the job done. Then the roof and the north parapet were covered in tar paper roofing and sat there for a good long time.
Speaking of moving stone — have you dedicated a stone yet? It’s a great way to- – a-hem — kill two birds with one stone. Dedicate a stone to a loved one or your class, business or best friend and help support the ongoing restoration work at the Stone Bank. Each stone dedication comes with a lovely commemorative certificate. We have one posted on StoneBank.org.
You don’t have to lift anything but your pen to the face of a check to help us keep moving those stones.
Thanks to Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant for keeping an eye on the project and sharing his pictures.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
February 6, 2013
KX News stopped by the Stone Bank last week and did a nice overview story about the restoration project.
If you’re a new follower of this blog, take a few minutes to scroll through our old posts to see how far the project has come.
In 2013, our goal is to raise the back of the building over a new foundation and begin working to restore the interior. We are always happy to hear from our readers. Tell us what you think.
Thanks KX for taking an interest in the Stone Bank project and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog.
January 14, 2013
Historic restoration isn’t an easy road. It’s rugged, and, yet, rugged roads often lead to the highest reward. That’s how we feel about the Stone Bank Project.
Here’s a quote from Paul Graham, an entrepreneur, on the value of an idea (or purpose).
The founders who do the best are the type of people who just refuse to fail. Most startups have at least one low point where any reasonable person would give up…. The only people who get through it are the ones who have an unreasonable aversion to failing.
That’s pretty much how we feel about the Stone Bank Project — we are going to see this through. PERIOD. We are really pleased by a recent uptick in donations. It’s great to have some other cockeyed optimists join the effort.
Mark Briggs puts it this way:
Developing a great idea into a successful business is like pushing a boulder up a hill. The best entrepreneurs — those who successfully reach the top — get to watch the boulder roll down the other side.
Mr. Briggs is writing about business and entrepreneurship — but historic restoration projects — like the Stone Bank — are also a form of entrepreneurship.
So, we are pushing the boulder up the hill — indeed — our stone mason is actually moving boulders to bring the Stone Bank back to life. Check out this video about moving stone!
By this time next year? We hope to be watching that boulder tumble down the other side. We hope you are there to help us give it the last shove.
Here’s a great video from the day our contractor began pulling down the Stone Bank’s back wall. It’s all up from here.
Thanks for joining us on our journey and thanks for your continued support.
January 4, 2013
So, that makes it the perfect time for a new stone quote and a couple shots of the Stone Bank — restoration work already in progress.
Make this the year you commit to a project bigger than yourself. Do something great for your community. For posterity. For mankind.
Or just for the heck of it.
So, we are continuing — to the end. When weather permits, work on the Stone Bank will continue. Scroll through our previous posts to learn more about this great building and the effort to restore it to usefulness.
Watch this space for updates, and thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
Happy New Year!
December 12, 2012
The Stone Bank’s story seems to have a lot of December in it.
For starters, the original building was completed in December 1900. Here’s a blog post about the Stone Bank’s beginning.
Fast forward about 111 years, and it’s December 2011. And the nonprofit group working to restore the building decides that to save the building and return it to use the back 20 feet must be dismantled to get at a structural problem. Brr. It’s clear and cold as the stone mason begins the work , stone by stone, to take apart the back of the building.
Fundraising and planning occupied the Stone Bank’s supporters during most of 2012, but now, at last, the project is moving forward again. In the next few days, our stone mason has another December date with the Stone Bank. He will begin the work to dismantle 20 feet of the Stone Bank’s north wall. This wall was left standing, but it must make way for foundation repairs in 2013.
Yep. December is cold. But it seems to be the hot season for work on the Stone Bank. Get this: Joe, our stone mason, says he doesn’t mind working in the cold. Why? Well, lifting stones is hot work.
So wish the bank and this project “Happy Birthday” with a card and a check. The work to dismantle the north wall will cost about $4,000. Can you help with a donation?
The Stone Bank Project is an all-volunteer effort — every donated dollar goes into restoring this historic building. There are links to PayPal and Razoo at right for online giving. If you’re sending a check, the Stone Bank’s mailing address is 524 Main St., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.
The Stone Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit — so your gift is not only deeply appreciated — it’s tax deductible!
Watch this space for updates as the dismantling project continues. As always, do like the Stone Bank and “Rock On!”
September 8, 2012
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.