Workers find letter in bottle while renovating Michigan Central Station

Workers find letter in bottle while renovating Michigan Central Station

DETROIT – Three years ago, Ford showed off some surprising artifacts that were discovered while teams were working to renovate Michigan Central Station.

Even in 2021, the progress made on the building was evident. The once rusty and dirty brick building that closed in 1988 had new windows and a clean exterior. Ford showed off interesting things they discovered in the old passenger depot.

Old shoes, magazines, a baseball, old bottles cast in cement and old train tickets have been found. Homrich construction worker Lukas Nielsen found an old Stroh Bohemian beer bottle with a label dated July 19, 1913.

“I was trapped neck down. I said, ‘Wow, stop destroying.’ This could be something,’” Nielsen recalled. “I pulled it out and saw there was something stuck in there. “Hey, it occurred to me that there’s a message in a bottle.”

They carefully removed it from the bottle, unfolded it, and found a handwritten note from two men who claimed to work at the old train station.

“I’m surprised he still has writing on it just because of the fact that all the water has run through this building,” Nielsen said. “I’m surprised they can track down one of the workers there with records from that time period.”

“If there was nothing, it would have been disappointing,” said project manager Rich Bardelli. “It’s exciting that maybe we can try to find family members.”

The names signed on the paper were George Smith and Dan Hotan. Archivists working at the station hope to find relatives.

There is still much work to be done on the historic building. Workers believe they will be able to complete the renovation by early 2023 and that people will be able to start using it as office space soon after.

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