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Construction crews find 108-year-old message in a bottle

Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Message Mystery at Michigan Central Station
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 15:13:32-04

DETROIT — Construction crews working on Ford’s new office and multi-use building in Detroit have found something old, 108 years old, in fact.

They found a Stroh’s bottle with a piece of paper rolled up inside. The Stroh Brewing Company was founded in 1850 in Detroit.

The construction crews are turning the old Michigan Central Station into a modern innovation hub, across town from where the Stroh brewery was.

The bottle they found on May 4 was stamped with the date 7-19-1913, which coincides with the original construction of the central station building. The building has been abandoned since 1988.

Plaster restorers were on a lift reaching a high section of plaster cornice when they noticed a glass bottle stuffed upside-down behind the wall’s crown molding.

They resisted the urge to open the bottle themselves, according to a release from Ford, and gave the bottle to the project lead.

The paper rolled up inside the bottle appears to read, in part, "Dan Hogan and Leo Smith stuck this greeting of Chicago July 1913."

“I think the bottle was left there with the hope that someone finds it in the future,” said David Kampo, project superintendent for Christman-Brinker, the construction team leading the restoration project in a written statement.

More than 200 artifacts have been found inside the old central station building so far during the multi-year renovation project.

Other items include a button from a pair of Finck’s “Detroit Special” denim overalls, a saucer, baby shoes, women’s shoes, old tickets, and payment ledgers.

The bottle and message inside it, along with the other artifacts found during the renovation, will be relocated to Ford’s archives space in Dearborn, Michigan.