Unveiling the Biedenharn Legacy

Unveiling Coca-Cola's Beginnings

Our tour at the Biederharn Museum & Gardens began with a fascinating story about Coca-Cola’s early days. We learned that the company initially only delivered syrup in glass containers. It was Joe Biedenharn’s ingenious idea to mix the syrup with carbonated water, bottle it, and distribute this refreshing soda throughout the southern states. This simple yet groundbreaking idea established the foundation for a worldwide empire.

A Time Capsule of Fortune

The tour also offered a glimpse into the life of Emy-Lou Biedenharn, who enjoyed a privileged upbringing. Joe Biedenharn’s daughter, Emy-Lou, was an accomplished opera singer who toured Europe before returning to Monroe just before World War II. Remaining unmarried, she generously donated her home after her death, stipulating that it would be preserved in its original state. This has resulted in a remarkable time capsule. A surprising detail is the house’s modern-looking black kitchen, complete with a dishwasher, which was unusual in the 1940s! 

A Time Capsule of Fortune

Her passion for Bibles is showcased in a separate museum displaying her extensive collection. The museum’s most valuable item is a page from a Gutenberg Bible. Emy-Lou also transformed the backyard, once used by her father to hold farm animals, into a tranquil sanctuary with statues, winding paths, and a charming fountain. There was even a vintage Coca-Cola machine that dispensed a bottle when we threw in a 5-cent coin.

The Historic Ouachita Candy Building

Intrigued by our visit, we drove to Downtown Monroe to see the site of the original bottling plant, the Historic Ouachita Candy Building. While the factory is abandoned, a vibrant mural reminds viewers of the activity that once happened here. Here, at the very roots of the global beverage giant, we popped open our cold drink and enjoyed its refreshing taste.


Tuesday, May 7, 2024


1.85 miles

Moving Time

0:41:21 hours


84 °F, sunny, gentle breeze