Scuba diver Jennifer Dowker went diving recently when she found a time capsule: a green bottle with a message from 1926.
Dowker owns the boat tour company Nautical North Family Adventures and found the bottle when she went diving in Cheboygan River (Michigan) to clean the windows on the bottom of her boat.
“I just collect little bottles that I find on the ground of the river when I am diving pretty often actually,” Dowker explained USA Today. “I have a little double-headed axe blade that I found the last time I washed the windows.”
She spotted the green bottle lying on the riverbed and could see that there was a piece of paper inside. When she opened it, she found a note that read:
“Will the person who finds this bottle return this paper to George Morrow Cheboygan, Michigan and tell where it was found?”
She took some photos of the bottle and the message and posted them on her company’s Facebook page as she knew a couple of Morrows in the area and thought at least 25 people would see the post.
“So, look what I found when I was washing windows (and cruising along with the fish)… any Morrows out there know a George Morrow that would’ve written this circa 1926? COOLEST night diving EVER,” she wrote in the post. Little did she know that it would go viral.
“I woke up the next morning and I had a lot of messages from tons of different people saying ‘Oh this could be you know so or so,” Dowker said. “Honestly, my first thought was how I was going to find the time to do this, because I am a single mom with three boys running a business.”
The post blew up the Internet, receiving over 113k shares, 70,000 likes,and over 6,000 comments, most of which describe her find as “incredible”. One commenter noted:
“If nothing else, this post has brought together a whole lot of people named Morrow! And that makes me smile.”
But there was more to come. Thanks to the popularity of her post, she has actually managed to identify the person who wrote the letter! According to an update on the story she posted on Facebook, George Morrow’s daughter Michele Primeau got in touch with her and they connected over a zoom call.
“Update on the message in a bottle Thanks to the help of all of you wonderful people engaging with the last post we were able to get in contact with George Morrow’s daughter Michele Primeau! What a surreal experience it was to connect over zoom today. We can’t wait to welcome Michele aboard this September Michele told us she would love if we displayed her Father’s note and bottle for all our passengers to see. So this is exactly what we plan to do The name “George Morrow” will live on in the shop of the Yankee Sunshine (sic),” Dowker wrote, sharing a photo of their call.
Michele Primeau, 74, said she learnt about the message from another woman, who had seen Dowker’s post on Facebook.
“She emailed me pictures of the letter and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was my father’s handwriting, and it was found in Cheboygan. He was born in Cheboygan and lived there until his 20’s,” Primeau recalled. “It was also interesting because he threw the letter in the river in November, and his birthday is in November.”
Primeau told USA Today that her dad would do sentimental things like that.
“I remember when we were changing the medicine cabinet in our bathroom and we found a message that my dad had written on the wall,” Primeau said.
Her father died in 1995.