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article image97-year-old message in a bottle found in Detroit area river

By Leigh Goessl     Jun 23, 2013 in Lifestyle
Detroit - Last year a bottle was found in a Michigan river with a note in it. The finder uncovered the bottle from the depths of the river and was surprised to find a note written in 1915 inside of it. Amazingly, the note was in great condition.
Almost 100 years ago, two Detroit women wrote a note and sent it off in a bottle into the St. Clair River. Its destination ended up being the bottom of the river and the message was never found by anyone.
That is, until 2012 when diver Dave Leander discovered the bottle resting in the sand about 30 feet down, reported Detroit Free Press.
Leander, of Great Lakes Dive Center, said he found the bottle near where the Tashmoo steamship once docked daily. The steamship used to ferry passengers back and forth from Harsens Island. On the island was a park, Tashmoo Park, which was a popular summer destination for locals.
The message, written in pencil by Selina Pramstaller and Tillie Esper of Detroit, said, "Having a good time at Tashmoo."
The message included the women's names and addresses. It was written on the back of a White Star Line deposit ticket.
The park, which had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, bathhouse and swimming beach, was popular resort area in the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th century. It closed in 1951.
“What’s cool about this, it’s a document that’s been preserved, sent nearly 100 years ago and never got delivered,” Licata said about the bottle and its message, reported Detroit Free Press.
A search was on for any descendents of the authors. And according to media sources, some were found. A man saw the story in the Detroit Free Press and was astonished at what he was reading.
ABC News reported Eric Schiebold was excitedly reading about the 100-year-old message in a bottle and was stunned to realize one of the women mentioned in the article was his grandmother.
"That's [Tillie Esper ] my grandmother's name. It couldn't be her. And then they have a biography, like a sidebar story, and I said, 'Oh my God. That's grandma,'" Schiebold said.
Esper was 22 at the time she wrote the note. She was born on Sept. 24, 1892 and had passed away in 1984, reported My Fox Detroit.
"Here's something that's 100 years old in the bottom of the river, and how can that be related to me?" Schiebold said. "I remember her from the time I was a kid, but what about her life before? This is a fascinating story."
The bottle, and its message, will be part of "Tashmoo Days", a celebration scheduled to take place on July 20. The bottle will be displayed at the Harsens Island museum.
Last year Digital Journal reported on another 97-year-old message in a bottle found in Scottish waters.
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