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.
July 22, 2015
There you go! We have a fresh concrete floor in the Stone Bank’s basement.
This is the room where there were two heating fuel tanks for the building’s old boiler and the floor was dirty, crumbling concrete.
In the lower right of the photo above, the black circular object is the top of our recently installed sewage lift pump. PROGRESS x 2.
Here is the in-floor heating in the part of the building that we took down and are putting back together. A concrete floor will be poured over the heat elements. In-floor heat! Pretty cool update for an old building in a cold climate.
Now, the back 20-feet of the building has nice deep footings to support the weight of a stone-clad structure. When our nonprofit purchased the Stone Bank in 2011, the back section of the building had only a crawl space — and the back wall of the building was sinking, because it was resting on footings that were much too shallow.
When complete, the back of the Stone Bank will look much the same as it did when we started the project, but it will have a much sturdier foundation, a handicap entrance and two handicap-accessible restrooms.
That’s the way you take a building from 1900 into 2015 — and beyond.
Do you want to be part of the Stone Bank project? We always welcome volunteers, but right now, we really need donations to keep the ball — or stone — rolling on enclosing the back of the building.
Your donations will help us match a generous $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND. We also accept online gifts with PayPal and Razoo. The links are in the sidebar.
As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog. Please, share this post with your friends and family!
July 16, 2015
Our Stone Bank contractors have been working hard to finish work in the basement — breaking up and hauling out the old concrete floor and creating a base for a new floor.
After the crew broke up the old concrete, they hauled it into the new section of the basement where the rubble was taken away by backhoe.
Strong backs built the Stone Bank 115 years ago — and we have some strong backs and heavy equipment putting the back of the building together again. We took apart 20 feet of the building to put a foundation under it. (Don’t worry. We saved the stone and will put it up again.) This photo shows the new section of the basment. (Photos courtesy Scott Wagar)
Make no mistake. This was a tough job. We appreciate our contractors and their crews — because they are doing the hard part of making the building whole again.
The result of all that hard work? A nice, smooth surface that will soon be a concrete basement floor. Notice the handsome stone walls in the basement. Built by immigrant craftsmen between July and December 1900.
Check back here soon to see more progress on our restoration project.
Want to be part of the action? We have some volunteer opportunities, but mosly we need donations. We must pay our contractors for all their heavy lifting — and for that we need cash. Any amount is welcome and all donations go directly into the restoration project.
You don’t have to put out your back to do your part to save this historic building. Just pick up a pen and send a check today to Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318. PayPal and Razoo online payment sites are linked in the sidebar.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your gift is tax deductible.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!
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!
April 7, 2013
The Giver and the Gift
To learn more about poet James Russell Lowell, check out the Poetry Foundation’s biography.
Beauty and history are two other needs your “alms” can feed. Our work to preserve and restore the Stone Bank on Bottineau’s Main Street is moving ahead, but we really need your help to pay our stone mason and buy supplies. It’s a different kind of hunger — but one that must be met somehow.
How can you help?
Join our “Dedicate a Stone” campaign to help rebuild the back 20 feet of the bank over a new foundation.
Encourage your friends, family, neighbors and organizations to chip in. We truly need your help to make this happen.
Don’t leave us hanging!
We have 20 feet down and 20 feet left to rebuild. Built in 1900, the Stone Bank has borne witness to a growing and changing Bottineau over the years. Help us restore it and put it back to use so it can reflect the changes of light and passing clouds and Bottineau history for another century.
The Stone Bank is a beauty worth saving. Please make a gift or a stone dedication today.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog. Scroll down to the last two posts to see pictures of our stone mason at work last week.
January 14, 2013
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for the Stone Bank Blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
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!”
October 1, 2012
Sometimes the mailbox can be the bearer of bad news and bills. But some days it’s full of birthday cards and good wishes.
A while back we got a great letter from Scott Swanson and he gave us permission to share it with our blog followers.
Scott’s dad owned the Stone Bank for about 50 years — so Scott spent a lot of time during his childhood inside the bank and outside — shoveling.
Here’s his letter:
If you read this blog, you know that we are working hard to raise the money to continue work to save this wonderful structure. Can you help? We have $25,000 in grant money, but we need to match that with local funds to put the building back on solid footing and move it closer to a new life.
Invite your friends and relatives to check out the blog or http://www.StoneBank.org. If you want to fill the Stone Bank’s mailbox with love and good wishes. Send your check to: Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main Street, P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!
September 9, 2012
Here’s a fun editorial from the Oct. 1, 1901 Bottineau Courant — touting the benefits of building with brick. (Of course, we extrapolate this to the benefits of building with stone.) The Stone Bank was not yet a year old (completed in December 1900) when this editorial was published.
Bottineau’s “brick block” is still lined with sturdy brick buildings (including the Stone Bank). It lends the town an air of permanence and history. Check back in a few days, when we’ll post a slideshow of other downtown Bottineau businesses.
We are currently trying to raise $20,000 in matching funds for a $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The Stone Bank Project is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit. So your contribution is tax deductible. Sending a check? Our address is Touchstones, Inc., 524 Main St., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.
Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog. Tell your friends to follow us, so they get all the latest updates on the Stone Bank Project.
July 16, 2012
Here’s the cool thing — 112 years ago this month, work began on the stone building that we now call the Stone Bank.
Pioneer craftsmen shaped each stone on the building’s facade by hand. And the building was completed, COMPLETED, before Christmas 1900.
It was an astounding feat. A 60′ x 20′ building of hand-hewn stones built in a half-year. A building that has stood the test of time.
Now we face our own test. We must rebuild the back section of the building this year — and we hope it gets done long before Christmas.
What will it take? Money to pay our modern-day craftsmen. We have $20,000 in grant money from the Historical Society of ND and $5,000 from Preservation ND. But the cost to rebuild the back of the building over a new foundation is just short of $65,000.
Every penny will help. So, how about a symbolic donation? $19.00 or $112 to help move our work along. (You know, $19 for the year 1900, or $112 for all 112 years of the Stone Bank’s existence. Or, $5,000 — just because!.)
Scott Wagar of the Bottineau Courant recently found a trove of info about the bank’s beginning. This is how we know that it’s time to celebrate the building’s birthday. Check out Scott’s article here and a story about Scott here!
Here are some pictures of the bank over time and one showing the work to be done this year.
Can you help? Please click the PayPal link in the right column or send a check to the Stone Bank Project, 524 Main Street, Bottineau, ND 58318