You see, the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens is much more than just a museum. In fact, it’s four museums in one. The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens tells the story of Joe Biedenharn and his family - it tells a story of family, passion, and pure elegance.
Originally a candy merchant from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Joseph Biedenharn created what we know as bottled Coca-Cola in 1894, and in 1913 moved his company to Monroe. Shortly after in 1914, he built his charming home in Monroe on the banks of the Ouachita River. The house itself was stunning, but with the help of his daughter Emy-Lou, the elegance came to life. Emy-Lou returned to Monroe after a fabulous vocal career in Europe and made it her mission to bring the house to life. When you walk through the stunning rooms of the home, you will be struck with awe. From the furnishings and accessories to the wallpaper prints and chandeliers, you’ll get an understanding of Emy-Lou and her love for all things beautiful. With the help of the museum docents, you’ll hear intriguing stories of Emy-Lou and if you’re like us, you’ll be in awe of her.
And every home needs a beautiful garden to go with it - well, that’s how Emy-Lou saw it. The ElSong (Emy-Lou’s Song) Gardens still stands today just as beautiful as it was all those many years ago. Hundreds of plants, sculptures, and stunning landscapes can be found as you walk through this little heaven on earth.
As you can tell, Emy-Lou was well versed in many areas. In addition to her love for gardens and fabulous decor, she found an interest in Bibles. At the Bible Museum, you can see her collection of rare Bibles - including an original 1611 King James Bible and a page from the 1454-55 Gutenberg Bible. You’ll be in wonder as you explore the culmination of religious beauty.
Emy-Lou was obviously quite a woman, but we can’t forget to discuss the Coke Museum and her legendary father Joseph Biedenharn. Joe’s idea of bottling Coca-Cola changed the game and because of him we can enjoy a crisp coke anytime. At the Coke Museum, visitors will transform back in time when they step up to the soda fountain to be greeted by a friendly soda jerk. A demonstration of the original bottling process will open your eyes to just how far the world of Coke has come. If you’re not already full of nostalgia, grab a glass bottled Coca-Cola from an original soda vending machine..for a nickel!
Discover the story of the family of the first bottler of Coca-Cola at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens every Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for military and senior, $4 for students, and a special price of just $4 for just garden and bible museum viewing. Grab your nickel and get ready to explore Coca-Cola like never before!