The Biedenharn Museum (loved the Bible Museum. seriously.)

While we were in Monroe, Louisiana, we had to stop at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens…

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The Biedenharn Gardens is located on the property of Joseph Biedenharn, who in 1894, expanded his candy company and became the first person to bottle Coca-Cola.  He lived in Monroe, with his wife and daughter, and was active in the township, even becoming a City Commissioner.
Today, his home, extensive gardens, and his wife and daughter’s Bible collection are preserved in this interesting destination.  There is also a Coca-Cola museum located just a few doors down from the house, and is where you can purchase tickets.  The museum has a gift shop, lots of antique Coca-Cola memorabilia, and even a mock soda fountain…

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We were not at all familiar with the family or history here, so we watched the 10 minute video that have history on the Biedenharn family…

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One of the things that the kids really enjoyed was getting a glass bottled Coke out of a vintage Coke vending machine, for a nickle…

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There was lots of old Coke promos and ads to look at,

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as well as photo ops…  😉DSC_1122_351

The kids got such a kick out of the old advertisements! LOL!

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They each thought it was fun that Coke used to always be bottled like this, and that you had to pry off the cap.  I think they had more fun using the bottle opener on the vending machine than actually drinking the soda! LOL!

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After we toured the Coca-Cola museum, we walked over to the house.  The home is over 100 years old, and they do not allow pictures inside of it (and we had a very annoying ‘gentleman’ on our tour that snapped dozens! rude.), so we don’t have any to share, but I loved the beautiful antiques that decorate the home, especially the ornate beds.

The tour covers two stories, and the second story offers a view out over some of the gardens…

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After we toured the home, we walked the gardens…

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The extensive yard employs 3 fulltime gardeners.   While the location does not allow weddings, the gardens are a popular place for brides to come get their pictures taken.  Especially the Monet garden, where all the flowers are white.DSC_1142_371


We are here in the off-season, and it’s been cold, so there weren’t any flowers.

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outside.

But there were lovely displays in the conservatory…DSC_1143_372

of poinsettias; even a ‘Christmas tree’ made up of red ones.

The conservatory is home to all sorts of ferns, palms, and beautiful flowers…

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After we walked the gardens, we visited the Bible Museum that is located right next door to the home.  Joseph Biedenharn’s wife and daughter (Emy-Lou) used to collect Bibles from all over the world.  Some of them are incredibly old, and then there are ones that were just unique.  There were a few statues depicting biblical scenes, and there were paintings on the wall accompanied by audio recordings by the artist.
No pictures were allowed, but I will tell you that my favorite picture (based on a very quick walk thru since we were running out of time) was a picture of Christ, surrounded by 27 angels, called “The Word Became Flesh”.  I can’t find a picture of it I feel comfortable ‘borrowing’, but it is a picture that is made up of words.  The entire New Testament.  And the 27 angels represent the 27 books of the New Testament.  Jesus is not superimposed behind the words, but the picture is made only of the words – the lines that make up each letter vary – some lines are dark, some lighter, some thin, some thick, so that when you stand back from it, it looks like a shaded picture of Jesus Christ, but when you get close to it (and use a magnifying glass), you can actually read the entire New Testament.  That is the only ink on the parchment – the writing of the scripture.  It’s pretty incredible.  (the one in the museum is not the original 😉 ).  It wasn’t that I liked the image in the words so much as I did the message (I just don’t think that Jesus had long hair (I Cor 11:14), or that we should be idolizing a graven image that likely looks nothing like Jesus’ earthly body did).  But I did love the image of the words of scripture being the body of Christ.
I would love to go back and take more time through the Bible museum!

We really enjoyed our visit to the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.  It was a fun visit and treat for the littles, and the bigs enjoyed the tour and Bible museum!

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The first Biedenharn delivery truck – 1890s!DSC_1138_367

The Coke Museum, Gardens, Bible Museum and Biedenharn home, are located in Monroe…there is something for everyone!  They are open Tues. thru Sat, 10 to 5.  Admission and other details can be found on their website, or on their facebook page.  DSC_1167_396We love to explore the unique in each area that we visit, and Biedenharn Museum and Gardens was a fun, yet educational, stop here in Monroe!  Just our kind of tourist-ing  😉

Lilla Rose

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Comments

  1. Your reference to the”old” things in the Coca-Cola museum is disheartening.

    The machines shown and some of the ads were “new” when I was a teenager. LOL

    I don’t think I am “old” yet.
    Watch your use of the word “old”, or we will all be crying. LOL

    Love your blog, please keep posting.

    • LOL Joe! I”m sorry – I’ll try to chose my words more carefully next time 😉 I’m sure I was talking about the other advertising cases, the ones with the very first ads displayed in them, not the ones in the picture!
      And I’m sure you are not ‘old’ yet – ‘old’ is definitely a state of mind 🙂
      Thanks for leaving me a note – I love the feedback. 🙂 Dana

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