COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – This past Saturday, Columbus added the Royal Crown Cola Museum and the Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame to the list of museums the Fountain City has to offer the community.
Located in The River Market Antiques, the Royal Crown Cola Museum will share a building with the Chero-Cola Museum, the Tom’s Peanuts Museum, the Georgia Radio Museum, and the Lunch Box Museum.
Museum owner Allen Woodall said, “I’m so excited now that we were able to give Columbus the Royal Crown Cola Museum and Tom’s Peanuts Museum, and the Chero-Cola Museum, and the Georgia Radio and Hall of Fame Museum.”
Along with celebrating the museums’ openings, Woodall also celebrated his 87th birthday.
“This all happened on my birthday last Saturday. I’m 87 years old. So, we had our grand opening, it’s just been wonderful,” said Woodall.
Like the popular Coca-Cola, RC Cola shares Columbus as the birthplace of the beverage. While originally produced under the Royal Crown title, the company was rebranded as Chero-Cola in 1910 and rebranded again in 1925 as Nehi Corporation. In 1959, the company changed its name back to Royal Crown Cola, its most popular drink.
“People are coming in and they really enjoy our museum. Royal Crown and Tom’s touch so many lives in Columbus, so many people worked there. If they did work there, they maybe sold the product or maybe they sold Royal Crown or Tom’s something. It’s affected many, many, thousands of lives in Columbus and the surrounding areas. We’re just proud that we can have this museum for all the former employees and the people that love these museums.”
The RC Cola Museum boasts the only known Royal Crown syrup dispenser in the world and features a recreation of an RC Cola storefront. The room adjacent to the Royal Crown Cola Museum contains the Tom’s Peanut Museum and an exhibit dedicated to Nehi soft drinks. The Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame is connected to the RC Cola area.
“We feel like one museum can really help the other museums as far as drawing people. To have five museums interflowing under the same roof is something new and different, but people seem to really like it,” said Woodall.
The new Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame features memorabilia from radio stations across Georgia, including a microphone holder from WRBL. Woodall’s favorite item within the Radio Museum is a rare 1933 Coca Cola Bottle Radio, originally owned by former Coca Cola Company President Robert Woodruff. Currently, there are plans to build a recording booth within the Radio Museum for local college students to use.
“I’m a former broadcaster. I’ve been in radio for most of my life. I had WDAK-AM, South 106, and Sunny 100 radio. I grew up with it,” said Woodall.
The radio museum was formerly located in LaGrange, Georgia, but was moved due to lack of attendance.
“They’re going away with great memories and the great memories bring back the history, knowing that someone is preserving that history where the future generations can enjoy it,” said Woodall.
The River Market Antiques and Lunch Box Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. The address is 3218 Hamilton Road.
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