Family-owned painting company leaves mark on South Dakota

November 6, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A map hangs on the wall of the Roy H. Dietz & Sons shop, pins marking all the towns the family-owned painting company has worked in its 75-year history. There aren’t very many open spaces in the state.

The Dietzes have left their brushstroke on Bread of Life Church at the Camp Hancock State Historic Site, the Chateau de Mores in Medora, the state House and Senate chambers and Bismarck Expressway Bridge. With the construction of the new governor’s mansion, Tom Dietz can say he’s painted all three of the mansions North Dakota’s governors have called home.

“Not all when they opened, of course,” Tom Dietz told The Bismarck Tribune .

The State Historical Society of North Dakota hired the Dietzes to repaint the former governor’s mansion. In the late ’80s, they were brought in to remodel the current governor’s mansion, painting and hanging wallcoverings.

Most recently, the Dietzes were awarded the contract to paint and stain the new governor’s mansion that’s under construction.

Roy Dietz started the painting business in 1942. Tom Dietz joined the family business when he was 15, not expecting to make a career of it but he learned to like it. Tom Dietz II was in the U.S. Army before returning to join his father and keep the business going for a third generation.

Tom Dietz II said any small town they find themselves driving through, his father seems to always be able to point out a building he’s worked on in his 54-year career.

“There’s so many different types (of jobs),” Tom Dietz said.

They painted the Prairie Rose dragline at Falkirk Mine near Underwood. They’re finishing the expansion of Basin Electric’s headquarters in Bismarck. Mandan and Century High Schools both bear their mark. And they’re working on a new brewery along State Street in north Bismarck.

To Tom Dietz, painting the governor’s mansions have been, “just another job,” but he says they are still neat projects to be a part of and see come together.

“Everybody sees our work,” said Tom Dietz II, adding that the wiring and insulation are hidden but paint and woodwork are on full display.

The Dietzes got into doing a lot of state properties and historic sites when Tom Dietz’s brother, Jim Dietz, was with the company.

When they got the former governor’s mansion job, Tom Dietz said they were handed a diagram of which colors to use where. That work has now come full circle.

“This room’s kind of neat,” Tom Dietz said about the public area of the mansion that is now under construction, pointing out the oak trim he stained around the windows and paneling hanging on the walls.

Painting and staining of the walls, ceilings and interior and exterior woodwork at the mansion is about 95 percent finished, Tom Dietz said. He’s had the project mostly to himself, only having helpers on site a handful of days since April.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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