98-year-old message in a bottle found at Ford construction site

Workers building Ford’s office building of the future have found something very old.

This message in a bottle was left at Michigan Central Station in 1913.
(Ford)

Two members of the crew helping to turn Detroit’s century-old Michigan Central Station into a modern innovation hub came across an old Stroh’s bottle with a message inside hidden behind a cornice high on a wall.

The bottle is stamped with the date 7-19-1913, which coincides with the original construction of the building that had been abandoned in 1988.

The message appears to say ""Dan Hogan and Leo Smith stuck this greeting of Chicago July 1913."

The message appears to say “”Dan Hogan and Leo Smith stuck this greeting of Chicago July 1913.”
(Ford)

Written on the rolled-up paper inside appears to be the message “Dan Hogan and Leo Smith stuck this greeting of Chicago July 1913.”

“I think the bottle was left there with the hope that someone finds it in the future,” project superintended Dave Kampo told Ford.

The original Stroh’s brewery was located across the city from the Corktown-area station in east Detroit and closed in 1985. It was demolished the following year.

Workers at the Michigan Central Station renovation are encouraged to preserve and report any artifacts found.

Workers at the Michigan Central Station renovation are encouraged to preserve and report any artifacts found.

The bottle is one of more than 200 artifacts that have been found at the site, but the only one with a message.

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Ford bought the property in 2018 and is in the process of transforming it into a multi-use campus that already includes and office for the automaker’s autonomous vehicle business unit and is expected to eventually house 5,000 employees working on tech, split between Ford and independent business.

The Michigan Central Station opened for business in 1914 and was abandoned in 1988.

The Michigan Central Station opened for business in 1914 and was abandoned in 1988.
(Ford)

Shortly after Ford bought the structure, an anonymous individual contacted The Henry Ford museum to say they wanted to return a clock that they had stolen from the derelict property two decades prior.

“I only have the clock. No other material,” the thief said. “I left it leaning against a burned-out building on Lawton. It is between Warren and Buchanan. The building is between the train tracks and 4470 Lawton. Please send two men and a truck immediately. It has been missing for over 20 years and is ready to go home. Thank you so much.”

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Ford said it would try to figure out where it was from in the building and either replace it or put it on display.