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Diver finds 97-year-old message in bottle

UPI News Service, 06/18/2013 

A diver in Michigan located a message in a bottle from two young women sent nearly 100 years ago, historians said.

Selina Pramstaller and Tillie Esper, who lived in Detroit in 1915, wrote a simple note while visiting Tashmoo Park in Harsens Island, a popular recreation destination for Detroit residents at the time.

Their message, in neat cursive writing: "Having a good time at Tashmoo."

They put the note, written on the back of a receipt that included their names and addresses, in a glass bottle with a cork and tossed it the St. Clair River where, 97 years later, Dave Leander went diving. He spotted the bottle sticking out from under about 6 inches of silt and brought it to the surface, the Detroit Free Press said Tuesday.

Leander and his wife, Pam, researched the writers and the area, which is where the old Tashmoo ferry used to dock. An amusement park, bathhouse and public beach were favorite summertime spots for many Detroit residents until the park was closed in 1951.

Leander has loaned the bottle and its message to the Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society, which is coincidentally holding Tashmoo Days, a celebration of the island's heyday, next month.

The group went on to research the note's writers. Pramstaller married and had a child before divorcing and becoming a nurse while caring for her widowed father in the 1940s. Esper lived to the age of 91 and had nine children, eventually moving to Dearborn, Mich., the research showed.

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