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Bobcaygeon man finds message in a bottle with a Simcoe connection

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It took more than 30 years for a message in a bottle to be found.

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It took just a few days for the man who found the message to connect to the person who wrote it.

The story came to light last Wednesday when Larry Jones of Bobcaygeon was working on a nature trail on his property located on the shores of Sturgeon Lake. He noticed a green bottle in the mud, reached down and plucked it out of the ground.

Jones gave it a good once-over and noticed a message in the bottle. He put the bottle back and returned to the house to get his wife Millie to show her his find.

The couple returned to the scene and attempted to take the note out of the bottle.

“It was pretty fragile, almost falling apart so we thought we should take it back to the house,” Jones said.

They managed to retrieve the note and found it was dated July 14, 1988 and that it had been written by a 13-year-old girl named Angela Vankerkhoven of Simcoe.

In the note, Vankerkhoven said she had visited the White Swan Cottages across the lake from Jones and would soon be going into Grade 9.

Jones shared his discovery with reporter Pamela VanMeer of Kawartha411 News and told her he’d really like to meet Angela and get his picture taken with her.

Reached at his home in Bobcaygeon on Saturday, Jones said word of his discovery spread and he hoped to hear from Angela soon.

The next day he was able to speak to the woman who wrote the note more than 30 years ago.

“It was a really nice chat,” Jones said Monday. “She’s married now, has a family and is doing well.

“But strange as it may sound, she doesn’t recall writing the note and putting it into a bottle.”

“She certainly remembered visiting the White Swan Cottages and having a good time there,” Jones said. “But again, she couldn’t recall writing the note.”

So for Jones, the mystery comes to a happy conclusion.

But for everyone else, one part of the story will remain a mystery.

Although Angela was pleased to speak to Jones, he said she did not want to speak to the press, preferring to maintain her privacy.

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