Ford Authority

Ford Michigan Central Station Workers Find Beer Bottle From 1913 At Site

As the multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation of Michigan Central Station continues, crews are working hard to retain as much of the building’s original character as possible while also modernizing and making it safe as well. But in addition to restoring some of the building’s original features, Michigan Central Station workers have also stumbled upon roughly 200 artifacts while rummaging through the site, including, most recently, a Stroh’s beer bottle from 1913 that had a note tucked inside of it.

The bottle was discovered by Michigan Central Station workers Lukas Nielsen and Leo Kimble, a laborer and foreman, in the men’s tea room behind the crown molding on the wall. The men carefully removed the bottle to prevent it from breaking, then took it to their company’s project superintendent, David Kampo. Since then, it’s been carefully passed from hand to hand as the automaker worked to figure out just what, exactly, the note inside says.

“The items that have been found show the care that each of the individual construction workers are taking when they’re doing their work,” said Rich Bardelli, Ford construction manager for the Michigan Central development project. “They saw it and they knew it was important, so they brought it to us. My reaction was to wait to open it and make sure we do it right.”

“The main thing you have to do is slow down the deterioration of the paper,” said Heritage and Brand Manager Ted Ryan. “With the bottle, that’s easy because it’s glass, but we’ll also have to make sure the rest of the label doesn’t deteriorate. It’s just like the pieces of a classic car.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, a Winthrop Group archivist named Lauren Dreger was able to extract the note from the bottle, which reads “Dan Hogan and Geo (George) Smith stuck this. (Indecipherable word) of Chicago 1913.” But the simple fact that the pencil writing on wax paper has survived this long is the real story here.

“The fact that the bottle (had) no cap and the fact that it was upside down for nothing to get in,” Dreger said, listing the factors that helped the note last 108 years. “As long as it seemed like there was no rain, and it’s pretty resilient in the weather, paper can last for hundreds of years if it’s in an element that is not exposed to mold or extreme heat. So it being insulated up in there really helped to preserve that paper.”

This note and bottle, along with all the other artifacts Ford has discovered at the Michigan Central Station site, will be preserved and relocated to the automaker’s archives in Dearborn, which is specifically designed to preserve vintage items like these.

We’ll have more on Michigan Central Station soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Gary.

    That really cool. A friend of mine use to drink Strohs back in the early 80s. I wonder how it tasted in 1913?

    1. James

      I drank Stroh’s in the 80’s also(remember Alex the beer dog). I didn’t know that Stroh’s Beer had been brewed that many years. I’m glad the workers took the time to preserve history rather than destroy everything.

  2. royl

    80 years from now, maybe they’ll find a crack pipe…..

  3. Dave Mathers

    In the fifties as a teenager I travelled quite often on the New York Central (free pass – father worked for them) to Detroit to buy stuff! The cotton shirts sold there were vastly superior to the shirts sold here in Canada. And I was always in awe of the beauty of the station.


Leave a comment