Like many scuba divers and water lovers, boat captain Jennifer Dowker has found plenty of strange things beneath the waves. However, nothing could prepare her for what she discovered in the Cheboygan River in Michigan. There, she found a 95-year-old message in a bottle – that’s right! Not only that, but she managed to track down the owner’s daughter and return the letter!
The Discovery of a Lifetime
Jennifer Dowker loves the water so much, she’s made a living on top of it. These days, she works as the owner and operator of Nautical North Family Adventures, a glass-bottom boat tour company in Michigan. And, as any boat owner can tell you, ships require quite a bit of uptake. However, Dowker never expected to uncover the find of a lifetime while cleaning her vessel. Still, while cleaning the bottom of her boat, the Yankee Sunshine, she discovered something incredible: a bottle and letter dating back almost a century!
“I like to scuba dive the river and find old artifacts. I saw the little green bottle sitting on top of a fish bed….and I could see the paper inside,” she explained. “It was about two-thirds full of water, and I thought ‘oh no,’ but I could find the word ‘this’ through the glass.
Carefully, Dowker removed the message and unrolled it. What she found took her breath away. “Will the person who finds this bottle return this paper to George Morrow Cheboygan, Michigan and tell where it was found?” the note inside read. And it was dated November 1926! Immediately, Dowker knew that she needed to try and track down the original author of the message. While it was unlikely that George Morrow was alive, perhaps some of his relatives remained.
So, Dowker took to her company’s Facebook page. There, she published the note, hoping that someone on the social media site would know the Morrow family. Soon enough, the message in a bottle went viral…
Returning the Message in a Bottle
Just a day after Jennifer Dowker posted the note to Facebook, it had gone viral. As of this writing, the post has earned more than 98,000 shares and 5,900 comments! On Saturday morning, I was out on the boat doing a scuba dive with some of my clients, and once they were in the water, I looked at Facebook and thought, ‘what has happened?'” Dowker recalled.
However, soon enough, it all paid off. On Father’s Day, Dowker received a call from Michele Primeau, George Morrow’s daughter. “[Primeau] said, ‘I’m 100% sure this is my dad’. He’s dead now, he died in 1995, and she’s in her seventies,” Dowker said. “She was almost in tears. She said ‘this is exactly what he would do’. He was always putting papers in the wall and bottles in the water…she figured he had dropped it in the water near his 18th birthday.”
As you might expect, Primeau also felt stunned by the discovery! “It was interesting because it was Father’s Day that weekend and it brought back lots of memories about him. I knew immediately it was my dad,” she said later. “It shocked me because he died in 1995. It’s a long time. To see his handwriting after all this time was quite moving.”
In case you didn’t know, many others have also found sentimental objects underneath the waves. Click next post below to read another!