Inside Michigan Central Station: Crews discover artifacts while restoring Detroit train depot

Artifacts found inside Michigan Central Station (Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

The walls of Michigan Central Station in Detroit are full of history – literally.

During the restoration of the old train depot in Corktown, crews have uncovered decades-old artifacts, such as a note from July 1913 in a Stroh's Beer bottle that was found while removing an unstable wall earlier this month. It's believed a worker placed the bottle there while the building was being constructed. it opened in December 1913.

MORE: Crews find 1913 letter in Stroh's beer bottle during MCS restoration

Michigan Central Station closed in 1988. What once was a bustling center of transportation quickly fell into despair and became a prime spot for urban exploring. Some people snatched up items left behind in the vacant building, but there was plenty to be found when crews got to work rehabbing MCS three summers ago.

Some work had been done inside Michigan Central prior to 2018, but it remained empty with no certain future until Ford Motor Co. bought the building and immediately got to work restoring it to its former glory. Ford plans to move electric vehicle teams into the station while keeping some areas open for the public to visit. It is expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023.

Related: Thief returns stolen Michigan Central Station clock to Ford

While members of the media were at the depot to see the message in a beer bottle Thursday, crews who were working found a bucket full of tickets from when the station was in operation. It's just one of the many artifacts that remained.

A bucket with old Michigan Central Station tickets (Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

From old ticket stubs to shoes to bottles, pieces of history have been discovered throughout the station. 

Ford has been working to archive the items found. This includes figuring out how old they are. Some items, such as a railroad lantern and typewriter, are easy to date because they have serial numbers and dates on them, while other ages are approximate and determined based on clues.

Lauren Dreger, who works with Ford archives, said the ages of several shoes were based on the style of them and when that footwear was popular while stitching on a baseball led to the conclusion that it was from sometime after 1934 because stitching changed that year.

Check out some of what's been found:

Message in a bottle – 1913

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Baseball – post-1934

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Railroad lantern – 1923

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Adding machine – 1934

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Fire alarm keys – date unknown

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Shoes – 1915 and 1940s

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Assorted bottles

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Elevator call system – date unknown

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

Central Pacific Rail medalion – date unknown

(Photo: Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)