On the Friday before Father’s Day weekend, Captain Jennifer Dowker was scuba diving in the Cheboygan River in Michigan to clean the hull of her glass-bottomed boat, Yankee Sunshine, on which she gives shipwreck tours during the summer. She wasn’t expecting to find anything unusual during this routine cleaning, but then a glass bottle caught her eye.
The old-fashioned green bottle was sitting at the bottom of the river, which is approximately 10 feet deep, and at first glance didn’t look much different from the other bottles Dowker has collected while diving over the years. When she went to retrieve it, however, she noticed there was a piece of paper inside, and she could decipher the word “this.”
Though the bottle was filled two-thirds of the way with water, the seal having deteriorated over the years, she could still read the message written on the paper. It said: “Will the person who finds this bottle return this paper to George Morrow Cheboygan, Michigan and tell where it was found?” It was dated November 1926.
Dowker posted the note on her company’s Facebook page in hopes that someone may recognize the name, but she never expected much to come of it. When she woke up the next morning, however, she was surprised to see that the post had gone viral overnight. It now has more than 100,000 shares.
Shortly after, on Father’s Day, Dowker heard from Michele Primeau, George Morrow’s daughter. Though the note was written before she was born, she recognized her father’s handwriting. His birthday was in November, and he would have been 17 or 18 when he wrote the note, she said.
According to Primeau, it was not a surprise that her father had braved the Michigan cold to throw the bottle in the water in November. He had always been sentimental, hiding notes in the wall when remodeling their home and throwing a bottle in Lake Huron on a family camping trip.
Morrow passed away in 1995, but his memory was brought back to life for his daughter that Father’s Day. Dowker offered to return the message, but Primeau insisted she keep it. Dowker plans to create a framed shadowbox to display on the boat or in the company office.