January 4, 2013

Philosopher Stone

Posted in Bottineau, Dismantling the back, Endangered buildings, History, Photos, Stone Work, Updates tagged , , , at 12:01 am by stonebankblog

The first of the year is a time of beginning. Starting over. Reconsidering. Wiping the slate clean or just picking up and getting on with it.

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.

Stone Quote No. 6

Another great quote — carved in limestone — from the Peace Chapel at the Intl. Peace Garden

Stone Bank work in Bottineau, ND

Scaffold going up at the Stone Bank. The north wall is coming down soon.

Sizing up the north wall.

The stone mason removed a few stones to check the sturdiness of the wall that abuts the north wall. Good to go.

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!


September 13, 2012

Population 1900 and 2011

Posted in Bottineau, History, Life, Updates tagged , , , , at 10:40 pm by stonebankblog

Sometimes it’s really true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here’s an item from the Bottineau Courant in 1900, reporting the astounding growth in population between 1890 and 1900, when the county’s population more than doubled.

What’s even more astounding is that in 1900 Bottineau County had more residents than Burleigh County — home of Bismarck, the state capital. (North Dakota gained statehood in 1889.) Even back then, Grand Forks County and Cass County,  where  Fargo is located, were the “big cities” of North Dakota.

ND Population by county in 1900

During the peak of the settlement era, Bottineau County’s population more than doubled.

A check of  U.S. census data shows that Bottineau County had 9,239 residents in 1980. And in 2011?

The county had fallen below the number set in 1900. Wow. At last count, Bottineau County had 6,443 residents.

But this could tick up, and probably has already with the oil activity in the area.

So, when the “stone” Stone Bank was under construction, the local area was booming. Bottineau County Bank was founded in 1887, and what we now call the Stone Bank was built in 1900. So, it’s a boom town bank!

It’s all rather interesting, isn’t? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment or your own history lesson. We love to hear from our readers.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!

November 21, 2011

Scaffold Is UP

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:01 pm by stonebankblog

With the external steps removed, the scaffold went up Monday on the south side of the Stone Bank in Bottineau.

The south side of the building has been photographed and the stone marked — and soon the real action begins.

Stone mason Joe Whetter said Monday that the first thing he will do is remove the concrete cap from the top of the south wall. Then he will very carefully remove the brownstone corner stones, because they are “fragile.”

Apprentice Brendan, left, and stone mason Joe Whetter sized up the task Nov. 21 from atop the scaffold.

Whetter used a sledge hammer to test how tight the cap is on the parapet and he said it will come off easily.

As they say in these parts — it should be interesting. Watch this space for updates on the dismantling project.

November 17, 2011

Out, out damned asbestos

Posted in Asbestos Removal tagged , , , at 2:36 pm by stonebankblog

Long ago, your Stone Bank blogger took an ethics class in which we studied the story of asbestos. And it was really irritating to learn that the U.S. government allowed the continued production and sale of products made with asbestos for YEARS after it was shown to be a carcinogen. Really. REALLY?

This all came thundering back to the Stone Bank blogger when we learned that in order to proceed with work on the Stone Bank, tests for  asbestos and other carcinogens must be done.

Well, the Stone Bank flunked that test. So, the asbestos had to go.

At left are the floor tiles that were installed at some time in the distant past and are carcinogenic. The certified asbestos guy scraped them up and hauled them away over the past weekend. Whew.

And he took the bad, bad, bad asbestos-laden pipe wrap from around the furnace and vacuumed up the dust. Gone and done.

Report mailed to the State Health Department.

No asbestos here.

At right — and thousands of dollars later — what the floors look like now. Much, much better. Cleaner and a NOT toxic. The black stuff with the tile impressions is only glue.

And now we can proceed with our work on the building.

Brrring it on

Posted in Dismantling the back tagged , , , at 9:26 am by stonebankblog

Front window on the Stone Bank in Bottineau, ND

It was 3 below this morning in Bottineau, N.D. At this hour it’s 0 degrees. With wintry weather upon us, it’s amazing that our stone mason says he is ready to go tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 18) on removing stones from the back of the building. (But with some of the stones weighing in at 300 pounds, I guess he will stay warm.) It’s time for this — and it’s the best way to fix what’s wrong the building’s substructure.

We have the money to do this work, but we’ll need your support to help rebuild it. Hit the “donate now” button on http://www.StoneBank.org. Or buy one of our cool T-shirts — all profits go to the Stone Bank project.

And watch the progress as the back of the building comes down. We’ll post daily updates. Joe, the stone mason said it will take him less than two weeks to get ‘er done.

November 10, 2011

Stone Bank mystery

Posted in History tagged , , at 11:45 am by stonebankblog

Well, well, well. Look what turned up in the basement at the Stone Bank – Bottineau. Why did all these sinks end up down there?

Four of the six sinks we found in the Stone Bank basement. Why so many?

Hmmm. What do you think? I’ll post the solution later today.

Offer your solution in the comments section below.

Why not “follow” the StoneBankBlog? Just click the follow link below.

November 7, 2011

Progress at the old Stone Bank

Posted in Updates tagged , , , at 10:08 pm by stonebankblog

Months of work, study and consultation — brought us to this point.  We are moving ahead with the first steps of the restoration. Today, the electric company placed a meter outside the bank.

The power to run the tools! We are electrified.

That means the contractors will have the power they need to begin dismantling the back of the building.

Don’t worry. We will put it back up, after we put a proper foundation under that section of the building, but that’s next year.

Asbestos? What asbestos? That’s what we will be saying next week, after our abatement is completed.

And then, our stone mason will begin marking the stones, in preparation for taking down the back wall. It’s for safety and to make it solid again. Work is set to begin Nov. 18.

Unclaimed raffle prizes!

Three lucky winners didn’t claim their prizes after our benefit this past weekend. See Karen at the Spectrum if you have the winning ticket for any of these. And thanks for attending.

Chocolatopia candy: Green ticket 275008

Brown wallet: Yellow ticket 003004

Salt-free seasonings from Penzey’s Green Ticket 275088

October 29, 2011

A chance for some good stuff

Posted in Promotions/Contests tagged , at 2:31 pm by stonebankblog

We are assembling gift baskets for the Stone Bank Benefit next weekend. Great show and a lot of good raffle items! Check http://www.StoneBank.org for info on the benefit.