HomeOutdoorsMichigan Boat Captain Finds ‘Shocking’ 95 Year Old Message in a Bottle

Michigan Boat Captain Finds ‘Shocking’ 95 Year Old Message in a Bottle

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: Dennis O'Clair/ Getty Images)

A Michigan boat captain may not have found buried treasure, but she did find a ‘shocking’ 95-year-old message in a bottle. 

Boat captain Jennifer Dowker was out for a day on the water when she spotted something at the bottom of the Cheboygan River. A small green bottle resided on the river’s sandy floor, so Dowker retrieved it.

Dowker is the owner of Nautical North Family Adventures, which gives interested clients tours of shipwrecks as well as scuba diving lessons in the Cheboygan areas. She does so in a glass bottle boat that lets passengers clearly see what is hiding under the waves. 

Amazing Discovery

She was paddling along, cleaning the bottom of the glass vessel, named the Yankee Sunshine, when she saw the bottle at the bottom of the river.   

The artifact wasn’t new to the water and encased something way more fascinating than just a green glass container. Inside the discovery was a letter—the message in a bottle dated back 95 years to 1926. 

In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge was in office, and Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith were born. 

Dowker reveals that she has a collection of glass bottles she has found, but none have ever contained a note. 

“Honestly, I figured it was just another bottle until, when I picked it up off the fish bed, I could see that there was a paper inside, so I was like, oh, that’s pretty cool,” Dowker told Fox News. 

She brought the discovery back to the boat to read the message in a bottle to her first mate and dive clients. Although the container was roughly two-thirds full of river water, the paper was still mostly enacted. The two carefully removed what remains of the cork and got a pick to remove the letter within. 

Dowker immediately knew this was a rare find. 

“Once we read it, we were all in shock,” Dowker said. “We were like, this is awesome, the find of a lifetime.”  

The message in a bottle reads, “Will the person who finds this bottle return this paper to George Morrow, Cheboygan, Michigan, and tell where it was found?”

Dowker explained that the last name Morrow is common in the Michigan area. However, she sought the help of social media to find its owner. She posted a photo of the message in a bottle to Facebook, and within days she has promising leads. 

The Owner of the Message in a Bottle

A woman by the name of Michele Primeau called Dowker on Father’s Day about the post. She revealed that her father, George Morrow, was the author of the message. Unfortunately, he died in 1995. 

“She was really emotional,” Dowker said. “It’s pretty obvious that she is his daughter because she has a diary that he had kept. So she had his handwriting sample, and it’s typical of something her father would have done. Apparently, he put bottles in the water and put notes in walls…he was just sentimental like that.”

Primeau requested that Dowker keep the message in a bottle on display at Nautical North Family Adventures. She also asked if his photo from 1926 could accompany the treasure to “keep his memory alive.”