Coca-Cola® has been a favorite beverage in the hearts of Americans for more than a century. Have you ever wondered how this delicious, carbonated drink became so wildly popular? Take a trip through time at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola® Museum, which is conveniently located in the charmingly historical downtown district of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Constructed in 1890 by Joseph Biedenharn and his father, Herman, the structure that houses the museum was initially used by the Biedenharn family as a wholesale candy company and a shoe store. Biedenharn was approached by Asa Griggs Candler, founder of The Coca-Cola® Company, just a few years after the building’s construction. Candler recommended that Biedenharn’s candy company supply the area with Coca-Cola® syrup.
Biedenharn agreed to this proposal, according to a letter he penned in 1939, and shortly thereafter, he decided to bottle the drink as a response to its presence only in cities where soda fountains could be found. Bottling made the beverage considerably more accessible to country residents. Upon electing to bottle the beverage – the demand for which was quickly increasing – Biedenharn sent a case of the bottled Coca-Cola® to Candler, who gave his blessing for the operation.
A GLIMPSE INTO HISTORY
Though the building changed hands several times over the years, it was eventually repurchased by the Biedenharn family in 1979, restored and donated to the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. It currently houses a plethora of exhibits detailing the history of the Biedenharn family, the original bottling process and many more Coca-Cola®-related fun facts. Additionally, the rehabilitated candy store and office area allows visitors to purchase deliciously refreshing treats, such as Coke® Floats, as well as a variety of souvenirs.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO VICKSBURG
The Biedenharn Coca-Cola® Museum is but one of many unique attractions in downtown Vicksburg. Eager to explore all that the city has to offer? Start planning your trip by booking your stay at a local hotel or bed and breakfast today.
BIEDENHARN COCA-COLA MUSEUM DETAILS:
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Open all year except New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Address: 1107 Washington Street, Vicksburg MS 39183 Phone: 601-638-6514
This spacious Victorian mansion, built in 1870, features seven guest rooms decorated with period antiques and roomy beds – most rooms even include a private bathroom. This Inn is centrally located in historic Vicksburg, just a short walk from museums, restaurants and landmarks.