John and Trina Hollander sent out a message in a bottle in December 1990 in Calhoun. The bottle was tossed in the Green River from the home the couple was living in on Richland Road. Thirty years later, the bottle was found in Ripley, Tennessee.

“We were always finding treasures along the water and we never found a message in a bottle so we decided to make our own,” Trina said.

John said he and Trina had forgotten about the letter but they remembered sending it out.

The couple had not been married yet when they sent out the message but had been together for four years. The house the bottle was launched at was a fixer upper for the couple, which they later purchased. John and Trina said they don’t live in the house anymore, which they named the Green River Gator Farm.

“Once [Pam Stanfield] contacted us, and she sent a picture of the note, we knew who sent it,” John said.

The bottle made its way down the Green River, through the Ohio River and made it to the Mississippi River where Skylar Mae Stanfield and her father, Daniel, located it at Open Lake in Lauderdale County near Ripley on April 17. The trip the bottle took is an estimated 250 miles, according to John.

“We were totally surprised,” Trina said. “If it wasn’t for social media, they would have never found us. They found us within an hour. We were shocked it had survived this long.”

Trina said they were at a friend’s house when their son called her to check Facebook because he was tagged in a post.

John and Trina said they never expected the message to go as far as it did.

“Once we did it, it was just a fun thing to do at the time but I never thought anyone would find it,” John said.

The couple said they doubt they will ever send out a message again because it was just a one time “fun” thing for them to do.

The message reads: “We wanted to see how far this will go. It’s almost Christmas, ho ho ho! This bottle was launched from Calhoun, KY. 12-21-90.”

According to John, Skylar Mae was excited to receive the letter. He sent her a package with contents from the Green River.

“It’s so exciting because now we have new friends in Tennessee,” Trina said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.