Richmond Hill kids on ‘treasure hunt’ find 30-year-old message in a bottle

Richmond Hill kids on ‘treasure hunt’ find 30-year-old message in a bottle
Richmond Hill message in a bottle (Source: Lyndsey Gough)

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - Like typical kids during the summertime, brothers Garrett and Landon Pearson and their neighbor, Graham Lewis, went exploring.

“We decided to go find treasures in the water,” eight-year-old Garrett Pearson said.

They found quite the variety of items.

“We found like, a little hand saw, and we found a lot of trash," nine-year-old Lewis said.

“Metal, bumpers...buoys,” added Landon, age six.

Then, they found something closer to the “treasure” they were hunting for.

“I heard one of the boys yelling, ‘It’s a treasure map, it’s a treasure map,’” said Megan Pearson, Garrett and Landon’s mom.

She went to see what they had. It wasn’t a treasure map, but instead, a message in a bottle.

“They showed me, and I pulled it out and I was looking and I was like, ‘Guys, this is a message in a bottle!’ and they said, ‘What do you mean it’s a message in a bottle?’ They didn’t even know about the concept of a message in a bottle. Like why would someone litter on purpose and put their name on it," Megan explained.

The message wasn’t in great shape, but from what they can tell it read “Hello, I am Chad. If you find this, please return it to me” with a name and an address in LaGrange, Georgia.

The boys’ dad took to social media to track down Chad.

“I made it a contest for somebody to find Chad and then somebody found him in 45 minutes, and it turns out that he put the bottle in the water 30 years ago," said Jeff Pearson, Landon and Garrett’s dad.

Graham, Garrett, and Landon now understand the concept of a message in a bottle.

“We were on Hilton Head the other day and he said, ‘Dad, how many people find messages in a bottle?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t think many do.’ and then he said, ‘Is it rare?’ and I said, ‘Yes, in fact, I personally don’t know anyone else that has found one,’" Jeff said.

This bottle, in particular, they believe traveled from the Savannah area to the restaurant Marker 107 in Richmond Hill.

Jeff is actually an author. His book is titled “Forever Across the Marsh," so the irony of finding a “treasure” in the marsh isn’t lost on them.

“One of the major story-lines in it is a treasure hunt that starts at a restaurant on a bluff, and it’s not a bottle. There’s no bottles, but there is a treasure hunt. It’s a major theme. We believe there’s magic out there. There’s magic in the marsh.”

The boys and their families are actually planning a dinner with Chad and his family at the restaurant where the bottle was found.

They are still trying to identify the bottle it was in.

Bottle cap from Richmond Hill message in a bottle
Bottle cap from Richmond Hill message in a bottle (Source: WTOC)

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