Mushroom hunter finds decades-old message in a bottle along Grand River

Mushroom Hunter Finds Decades-Old Message in a Bottle
Mushroom Hunter Finds Decades-Old Message in a Bottle

IONIA, Mich. (WXMI) — A message in a bottle traveled more than 30 miles and 20 years before being found this week along the Grand River in Ionia County.

Terry Smith, who was out hunting morel mushrooms along the Grand River on Monday, came across a small film canister with several notes inside.

"I found a note and three pieces of paper from two little girls from Lansing, Michigan," he told FOX 17. "And they stated that they would be 12 in 1994 and their birthday was October 27 and their names were Leah and Angela."

Smith said he's in town from Ohio for mushroom hunting. The kicker is that he found another message in a bottle along the same stretch of the Grand River just a few years ago, he said, but the message inside was too deteriorated to decipher.

This time, the opportunity was too good to pass up. Smith turned to social media to track down the original message writers.

"I thought I'd try to get a hold of them to let them know their message was found," he said. "I was just amazed that something like this could last 21 years and finally was found."

Within 24 hours, Smith learned through social media that a Lansing TV station had managed to track down at least one of the girls, now 20 years older.

"I'm just overwhelmed that you could find somebody after this length of time and so quickly," he said. "Even if I didn't find one mushroom up here, this made my whole trip worthwhile."

The reunion and message return are still being planned. Smith told FOX 17 he's unsure if he'll actually return the message, because he's thinking about keeping it as a keepsake.