Like many wood floor pros today, James Ritchie and John Grieve wanted to leave a small note under the floor they’d just installed at a home in Edinburgh, Scotland. They decided to go all-out and placed a letter in a whisky bottle beneath the floorboards.
“James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky,” the note read. “Who ever [sic] finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.”
They suspected they’d be gone before their lasting floor work was dismantled and the note uncovered, and they were right—the note was dated Oct. 6, 1887.
The 135-year-old message in a bottle was discovered by a plumber as he was cutting a hole in the floorboards of the home last November, the BBC reported. He’d cut a perfect square around the bottle. The bottle was given to the homeowner, who had to smash the Victorian-era glass in order to retrieve Grieve and Ritchie’s salutation from the past.
Census records from 1881 placed the two installers as living only a few miles away from the home their message was found in, according to the BBC.