COLUMBUS, Ga — The Historic Columbus Foundation has unveiled the first of a series of historic markers that will form the Columbus Soft Drink Heritage Trail in the city’s downtown area.
The first marker is in front of the W.C. Bradley Co., which was founded by one of the early investors and the longtime chairman of the board of the Coca-Cola Co.
Historic Columbus President-elect Jack Jenkins said John Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola, created the formula in Columbus in 1855, although others say he invented it in Atlanta.
“We always have taken pride that the Pembertons were here in Columbus, and that, according to us, Coca-Cola was invented here,” Jenkins says. “There are many stories about that and many sides. The people in Atlanta don’t like to talk about it or listen to it.”
A total of seven markers will make up the trail, including one about Nehi and Royal Crown Cola, which both originated in the city.