Winona officials trying to solve mystery of Model-T in river - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Winona officials trying to solve mystery of Model-T in river


WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- One wouldn't guess it by only looking, but underneath the quiet ripples of the Mississippi River in Winona is a nearly 100-year-old Ford Model-T laying upside down, and half buried in sand. It has sparked curiosity in many community members.

"We've never found something like this before in our searches and stuff and when we were looking for somebody this has never shown up," said Winona Sheriff Dave Brand.

Investigators detected the car after a demonstration of a sonar scanner device last month.

"You can see the drive shaft, the frame, one of the tires were on and it was facing upstream towards the state bridge," added Brand.

He believes in several reasons the car could have wound up in the river.

Several speculations include: the car may have gone off the former bridge replaced in the late 1930s, it may have gone off the levee, or it went through ice.

Since the discovery, officials have turned to the Winona County History Center for any records linked to the vehicle.

"They're wondering who it belonged to," said Mayor Mark Peterson. "They came here to the Historical Society to our archives and asked us to do some research, and you know for something like that about a hundred years ago it makes it pretty hard to find anything."

According to Sheriff Brand, the public has also been assisting in solving the mystery.

"We've been getting several calls on it that have people that were younger remember their dad or somebody saying you know they remember this Model-T that went in the river and that sort of thing," said Brand.

Authorities are in talks of making a second dive to the Model-T to look for plates or other indicators that could link the vehicle to an owner.

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