Nearly a century after it was thrown into Michigan’s Cheboygan River, a small green bottle with a man’s handwritten message inside was found by a boat captain and reunited with the man’s daughter.
Jennifer Dowker gives tours of shipwrecks, so she knows all about sunken treasure. Sometimes she has to put on diving gear to clean the windows of her glass-bottom boat.
Recently, she made the discovery that shocked her.
“The color caught my eye,” Dowker said.
The bottle’s cork was badly damaged and it was filled two-thirds with water. Inside the bottle was a folded and rolled piece of paper.
“I was thinking, I don’t want to rip it. The paper was really wet,” Dowker said.
The note scrawled inside said, “Will the person who finds this bottle return this paper to George Morrow, Cheboygan Michigan, and tell how it was found,” the paper said. The date was marked Nov. 1926.
Dowker posted the letter and photos on her Facebook page, Nautical North Family Adventures. One of the people who saw it was Michelle “Morrow” Primeau — the daughter of the man who wrote the message.
“He did a lot of sentimental things,” Primeau said.
Primeau drove five hours to meet Dowker and brought along a journal her dad had kept while serving in World War II.
“See how the writing here matches up with his writing there?” Primeau said. “I can’t believe it’s all in one piece after 95 years.”
Primeau believes her father threw the bottle into the river on his 18th birthday — November 15, 1926.
The bottle from the depths has now found its way home. Dowker had the bottle and message framed to give to Primeau, who said she wanted Dowker to keep it.