Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
44Trip End Nov 19, 2008
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We arrived at Vicksburg at the end of the afternoon and followed the visitor centre's recommendation of a bargain place to stay: the Horizon Hotel and Casino on the waterfront, just on the edge of the downtown area
In the morning, we headed up the hill and across the road to the Biedenheim Coca-Cola Memorabelia Museum. The Biedenheims ran a "candy store" in the building and one of their main attractions at the time (late 1800s) was a "soda fountain" where sugary syrups were mixed with cold - carbonated or flat - water to make tasty drinks. One of the flavours was Coca-Cola, which was invented in 1880-something in Atlanta. The Biedenheims' claim to fame then is not the invention of the stuff, but the eureka-like idea of bottling the stuff so that it could be enjoyed at home or by people out in the country. Until then, customers could only get it and drink it somewhere with a soda fountain. So, the Biedenheims bottled it up the same way as they were already bottling soda water and started Coca-Cola on its bid for world domination. The museum explains all this and shows some of the equipment used to bottle coke back then as well as a lot of the different advertising materials used by Coca-Cola through the years
When we finished our coke float, we walked down Vicksburg's quaint main street and stopped for a look in a fabulous dress shop - Laura is still trying to find that perfect little party number for the big event in November. No luck, but plenty of fun trying stuff on! As we left Vicksburg, we drove out through the "Historic Battlefield Park" where one of the most important battles of the American Civil War was fought. Vicksburg was the last town on the river that had to be won by the Union army in order to control the Mississippi and split the confederate states down the middle. The confederate army did a good job of holding them at bay and it was only after a 47-day seige that the city surrendered. An interesting story, but sadly - and understandably - the historic battlefield is now no more than a series of rolling grassy hills and tree-lined ditches. Oh yes, and quite a few memorials. But not a soldier in sight.