All About Dr. Pepper / Waco’s Dr. Pepper Museum

Waco, Texas, located about 100 miles south of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex along Interstate 35 is home to two unique museums, among other Waco attractions, which are very well worth your time to visit.  These include the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum and the Dr. Pepper Muuseum.

dr pepper museum waco

The Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas

This article takes you on a visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum located at 300 S 5th St, Waco, Texas. The building housing this museum  is the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company structure.

The 100 year-old building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the “Home of Dr Pepper.” The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group supports this museum but is not the owner.

It All Began in an 1885 Pharmacy

Dr. Pepper is a soft drink invented in Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco Texas and is the oldest of the major soft drinks in America.

Waco pharmacist “Doc” Charles Alderton is the man responsible for inventing this soft drink which was sometimes referred to as a “Waco” for the reason that it wasn’t available outside of town. Doc Alderton was an M.D. who graduated from the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.

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The first floor entrance to the Dr Pepper Museum

Charles Alderton was born in Brooklyn, New York to British immigrants. He went to England to attend college in Stowmarket and returned to Brooklyn  During the Westward Expansion Alderton traveled to Texas where he enrolled at the University of Texas in Galveston. After graduating there with a medical degree, Alderton made the choice to work as a pharmacist, moving to Waco, Texas to join W. B. Morrison in his Old Corner Drug Store.

The Need For Something New

While working at the drug store the doctor noticed that customers at the store’s soda fountain were becoming tired of the same drink flavors being offered. Dr. Alderton decided to do some experimenting and hoped to come up with a new and original concoction that was pleasing.

dr pepper memorabilia

Memorabilia displayed in the Dr Pepper Museum

Alderton mixed together different fruit extracts and syrups and did the tasting himself. After putting together many different mixtures over a period of time he finally found one that stood out from the rest and pleased his taste buds. The store’s owner, Morrison, was invited to taste the soda and likewise found it quite good. The real proof however was when the drug store started selling the new soda to it’s customers and the reaction was extremely positive. The new soda drink caught on fast with the locals and gained new drinkers every day.

Customers began asking for “Doc Alderton’s drink.” when they visited the drug store. Eventually Morrison came up with the name for it, naming it “Dr. Pepper“, after the father of a girl he had once courted. Over 125 years later this soft drink remains one of the country’s most popular and it’s contents are pretty much the same as originally created by Doc Charles Alderton.

A Unique Museum Visit

The Dr. Pepper Museum, one of the best Waco attractions, occupies three floors of the old 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company.building. The building was donated to a non-profit organization in t988 and work began for renovation in 1990.

According to the Dr. Pepper Museum, the museum is home to the W. W. Clements Free Enterprise Institute.  The Institute was created in 1997 for the purpose of educating school children as well as adults about the economic system that underlies American life. Another important thing to note per the museum is that the Dr. Pepper Museum has received contributions from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the Coca Cola Company, Coca Cola Enterprises, Big Red Corporation, and several independent soft drink bottlers.

You may also enjoy additional Trips Into History Texas attractions found on the links below…

A Trip to Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center / Lubbock, TX

Visit Historic Round Rock Texas / Outlaw Sam Bass and the Palm House

Santa Fe Depot and Harvey House / Brownwood Texas

The first floor of the Dr. Pepper Museum has a gift shop and a cute room with a soda fountain along with tables and chairs. It’s the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a cold Dr. Pepper. Memorabilia is found throughout the museum. Clocks, thermometers, signs, all with the Dr. Pepper name are on display and span many years. Also see the well which of course was essential for washing bottles in the bottling plant. You’ll also view interesting bottling machinery from the day along with descriptions of each.

dr pepper waco texas

Dr Pepper Museum soda fountain on first floor

A favorite of many visitors is a touch button TV screen showing some of the most popular Dr. Pepper television commercials spanning decades. You’ll also view many photos taken as far back as when the soda was developed. Also, interesting early photos of Waco are in their collection.

The Dr. Pepper Museum makes a perfect side trip for the entire family while traveling through Texas. The museum is easily reached being just a few blocks west of Interstate 35 south of the Brazos River.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

Visit Historic Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Palm House

Some may call it The Daffodil Capital of Texas, but the city of Round Rock has quite a noteworthy historic past and it’s a great place to visit during your Texas travels. Attractions in Round Rock Texas include plenty of historic sites and buildings, excellent dining and unique shops.

Round Rock and Sam Bass

Look back at the history of Round Rock Texas and the name Sam Bass will come up. There is much more to the history of Round Rock aside from the infamous train and stagecoach robber Sam Bass and his gang but it’s a theme that has stuck around for nearly 140 years.

outlaw sam bassThe legend left behind about Sam Bass is somewhat larger than his real life actions. There’s even a major street in Round Rock Texas that bears his name. Bass’ entire life lasted but twenty-seven years however during that relatively short time he was involved in plenty of criminal activity.

Like most legends from the old west there are a few versions of Bass’ exploits. Following is the most common version.

After prospecting in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory with two other men and losing all their money, Bass decided to replenish their cash by robbing stagecoaches and they were given the name the “Black Hills Bandits“. Stagecoach robbing then turned into train robberies which typically paid better. The gangs big payoff occurred in Big Springs, Nebraska on September 18, 1877 when they robbed a Union Pacific express train of $60,000 in $20 gold pieces being transported east from the San Francisco Mint.

historic buildings round rock texas

The Palm House Museum

The gang, then being chased by lawmen and army soldiers, had to split up. Most of the robbers were killed or captured, one fled to Canada with his share of coins and Bass and another fled south. One year later Bass held up a train in Allen, Texas north of Dallas.

The Texas Rangers made sure that the fugitive Sam Bass met his end in Round Rock when he was gunned down on July 19th, 1878. bass was reportedly in Round Rock with some of his gang planning a bank robbery. He was recognized and lawmen approached. After being confronted in a store the Williamson County Deputy Sheriff was shot and killed by the four gang members. A Travis County Deputy Sheriff was outside the store and entered and subsequently shot Sam Bass. The bandits attempted to flee from the alley and were shot at and hit by Texas Rangers who had heard the original gunshots. Not long afterwards Bass was found mortally wounded outside of ton and was brought back to Round Rock where he died of his wounds.

This particular shooting actually took to being called the “Sam Bass Shootout” and you can view it’s reenactment every July 4th at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park during their annual Frontier Days’ event.

Round Rock and the Palm House

Located in the old downtown area is the Palm House, one of the many historic attractions in Round Rock. The house was moved from Palm Valley to it’s new location in Round Rock in 1976. In 1979 the Palm House received it’s State Historical Marker. The Palm House is located at 212 East Main Street next to the library.

Today, the Palm House serves as both a museum and the offices of the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Palm House was built in 1873 by Andrew J. Palm who moved to a valley east of Round Rock with his mother and siblings in 1853. A.J. Palm and his wife Caroline Nelson Palm raised eight children in this house. An interesting side note was that the Palm family was related to Svante Palm who served as the Swedish Vice-Council to the Republic of Texas. Svante Palm encouraged members of his family to relocate to this area of Texas.

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Old Post Office and mercantile store in the settlement of Brushy, the first name for Round Rock

You can walk through the house and visit the rooms, filled with authentic period furniture. When you visit the Palm House today you will see early settlers furnishings as well as interesting items donated from local residents. The house has authentic furnishings, an elegant parlor and Swedish kitchen.

You may enjoy the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center

Harvey House and Santa Fe Depot / Brownwood Texas

Visit Round Rock Texas

Round Rock Texas is located nineteen miles north of Austin. Old Town Round Rock is located just east of Interstate 35.

palm house museum

A room at the historic Palm House

The area of Round Rock and Austin offers many historic sites to visit including the historic buildings in Old Town including the Palm House Museum.

You’ll also want to visit the  area of the first settlement which was named Brushy just across on the west side of Interstate 35 along Brushy Creek. By request of the U.S. Post Office the name had to be changed because there was another town in Texas named Brushy. The settlement then took the name Round Rock in recognition of the large rock in the middle of Brushy Creek.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

The Resting Place of the Heroes of the Alamo / San Antonio

Just a few blocks off the popular River Walk in San Antonio Texas is the beautiful and historic San Fernando Cathedral. With the formation of the Diocese of San Antonio in 1874, the church was designated a cathedral. The cathedral is still active and received a visit by the pope in 1987.

Historical Facts Regarding the Building and Renovation of San Fernando Cathedral

san fernando cathedral san antonio

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, TX

The San Fernando Cathedral was built by settlers from the Canary Islands, who arrived in the area in 1731, after they were granted land and title by King Philip V of Spain.The San Fernando cathedral is also very near to the Alamo. The cornerstone of the existing  structure was laid in 1738. The Alamo was also built in the early 1700’s and was given the name Mission San Antonio de Valero.

The Gothic design at the front of the San Fernando Cathedral was finished around the year 1868. This was the time that the church underwent a large renovation. It is said that much of the original church from about 1749 remains as the sanctuary area around the altar. San Fernando Cathedral has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States and the oldest structure in Texas.

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Altar area of San Fernando Cathedral

A Very Historical Site

San Fernando Cathedral, then a church, witnessed plenty of history including the War for Mexican Independence and then not long after that the War for Texas Independence. Quite a lot of history in what was at that time the largest settlement in Texas.

San Fernando Cathedral sits on what is said to be the center of San Antonio. At one time all distances in Texas were measured from the dome of the then church.

images of alamo heroesThe Heroes of the Alamo

When you visit San Antonio Texas a stop at San Fernando Cathedral is a must. The cathedral is a beautiful structure as you can see from the photos in this article. Along with the cathedrals rich history and beautiful architecture is a very unique story that involves the Texas defenders from the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. In fact the church actually played a part in the battle of the Alamo. It was from the cathedral’s tower that Santa Ana raised a blood red flag to signal the Alamo defenders that no quarter would be given. It’s also been said that Santa Ana also used the cathedral as a lookout post.

Just inside the front entrance of San Fernando Cathedral is a small coffin that most people believe holds the remains of the Alamo defenders. History tells us that after the Alamo was finally seized by the Mexican Army and Texan survivors were rounded up, Santa Ana ordered the prisoners executed and their bodies burned.

The story of what happened to the ashes of the defenders is not without some controversy.

What is Known About the Defender’s Ashes

By the 1800’s the missionaries at the Alamo had left and the former mission essentially became a military compound. In fact the name “El Alamo” came from the soldiers who occupied it. The name comes from the cottonwood trees that surrounded it.

The siege of the Alamo began on February 23, 1836. The battle lasted for thirteen days.

A detail was sent to San Antonio about a year after the battle to recover the remains of the Alamo defenders.

It is said that the bodies were burned at three different locations all relatively near the front of the Alamo.

One story is that the ashes were collected and put in a wooden box and taken to San Fernando Cathedral for a memorial. After the memorial the box was buried at the site of the largest fire.

Another version of events say that the ashes were collected and taken to San Fernando and buried near the altar.

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Crypt allegedly holding the ashes of the Alamo defenders at San Fernando Cathedral

Historians are not in total agreement as to whether the ashes in the crypt are indeed those of the Alamo defenders. Supposedly bits of uniform were said to be found in the ashes and it’s generally believed that no Alamo defenders wore uniforms of any kind.

Today, the ashes are in a stone crypt at the cathedral’s front entrance. Whether the ashes in this crypt are those of the Alamo’s garrison will only be answered by some type of scientific testing.

You may also enjoy our Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Explore Western Art in San Antonio Texas

The Guenther House and Historic Pioneer Flour Mill / San Antonio

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Historic Palm House

san fernando cathedral san antonio texas

Another view of San Fernando Cathedral

San Antonio Texas is one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S. Visiting San Antonio allows you to take in the many historic sites and structures in what was once the largest settlement in Texas. Other great family attractions include SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

San Antonio is also home to several other historic Spanish missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This large historical park which was established in 1978 preserves four of the five missions built in San Antonio Texas.  When visiting this National Park you’ll be able to follow guided tours of the churches and grounds by very knowledgeable park rangers.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 TripsIntoHistory)

 

Explore Western Art in San Antonio Texas

A visit to San Antonio Texas is always a trip into history. At one time the largest city in Spanish and Mexican ruled Tejas, today San Antonio Texas offers the tourists several historic Spanish missions, historic structures such as the Pioneer Flour Mill, the King William Historic District and the very popular San Antonio River Walk. In addition to these there are plenty more historic sites to visit.

wells fargo stage coach

Wells Fargo stage coach exhibit

The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Along the River Walk there’s another quite unique venue you may enjoy visiting. This is the Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on the River Walk and whose street address is 210 W. Market Street. The museum resides in the same historic building that once housed the Hertzberg Circus Museum. At this time many people are not acquainted with this museum since it is so new.

The Brisco Western Art Museum, which actually had been planned over a ten year period, opened it’s doors in late October 2013 to a very well attended ribbon cutting ceremony. The museum came to being by a public/ private partnership which included a $4 million dollar contribution by the Brisco Family. A partnership between the national Western Art Foundation, City of San Antonio and Bexar County created the Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is named after former Texas governor Dolph Briscoe. Briscoe was the 41st Governor of Texas. The museum is highlighted with art from the Briscoe Family collection. The museum exhibits are displayed on three different levels of the museum.

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River Walk boat rides along the San Antonio River.

The  museum is meant to educate the public that Texas history started with the Native Americans, and then from there to the Spanish, and from there to the Mexicans, and then to the Texicans, who then became known as Texans, then the confederacy years, and after those eras to become a big part of American history.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum Campus includes the historic Museum building, the Jack Guenther Pavilion and the adjacent McNutt Courtyard & Sculpture Garden spread across 1 1/4 acres in downtown San Antonio. The museum is a gem along the San Antonio River.

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Another view of the San Antonio River

Briscoe Western Art Museum Exhibits

If you’re interested in cattle drives, the old west and Texas history this is a museum you do not want to miss.

The first floor lobby area of the museum has an art deco / neo-classical decor.

The second floor mezzanine level features Western painting, sculpture and photography.

The museum’s third level features a chuckwagon, Alamo Battle diorama and several galleries.

Among the many exhibits is a beautiful reproduction of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, a fine restoration of a cattle drive chuck wagon, an example of classic Aeromotor windmill, saddles, spurs, firearms, sculptures, paintings, photos and a diorama of the Alamo Battle. The art collection has an excellent blend of mixed media.

See the Trips Into History articles below…

The Historic Alamo

The Resting Place of the Alamo Defenders in San Antonio

Also our Western Trips articles on the links below…

A San Antonio Historic Hotel

The Guenther House and Pioneer Flour Mill

From Trips Into History see…

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Additional Attractions Along the San Antonio River Walk

While you’re visiting the San Antonio Riverwalk and the Briscoe Western Art Museum you’ll want to see the La Villita Historic Arts Village which is also one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods. La Villita was originally settled nearly 300 years ago as one of the city’s first neighborhoods. This arts village of one square block has been in existence since 1939 and features all types of art…sculptures, oil paintings, pottery and much more. You’ll also want to check out events planned at the arts village before your trip to San Antonio. La Villita Historic Arts Village is adjacent to the hotels and the Riverwalk. La Villita hosts some of San Antonio’s best parties with festivals, concerts and celebrations scheduled year-round. See their website at www.lavillita.com

san antonio texas museums

Briscoe Western Art Museum

If you take a boat ride on the San Antonio River along the River Walk, which is highly recommended, you’ll learn quite a lot about San Antonio and the construction of the Riverwalk itself. The cruise is 35 minutes long and passes by the RiverCenter Mall which is the only mall in the U.S. that actually has a river running through it.

Along the San Antonio River and the River Walk is the Arneson River Theater.  This outdoor theater directly on the River Walk becomes a festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. You’ll also hear local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer months and especially during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio.

(Article copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

Touring The Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country, located in the central part of the state, attracts tourists, nature lovers, water sport enthusiasts, and families from all over the U.S. The beautiful rolling hills, scenic lakes, unique geography and the famed Texas hospitality have marked the Texas Hill Country as a popular destination for anybody wanting a great vacation or weekend trip experience.

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Limestone caverns at Longhorn Caverns State Park

So much of the Texas Hill Country represents the history of the Lone Star State. It was a place of large immigration during the early to mid 1800’s and today in many ways is a living history museum within the state itself.

The Fascinating Caverns of the Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country was formed about 30 million years ago by a giant earthquake. The violent quake forced limestone and granite layers to the surface and buckled the earth to form the rolling hills and valleys the Texas Hill Country is now famous for. Examples of this geologic action can be seen at several caverns. These would include the Longhorn Caverns in Burnet Texas and the Natural Bridge Caverns just north of San Antonio. Both of these are popular tourist destinations which will take you hundreds of feet underground to experience the beautiful limestone formations.

nimitz museum of the pacific war

Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg Texas

Fredericksburg Texas

Fredericksburg Texas, in the middle of the Texas Hill Country, is one of the most popular stops for those on Texas vacations. Fredericksburg TX is a very unique and historic location with excellent restaurants (German fare is the big draw), very beautiful and serene bed and breakfast lodgings and it is the home of the Admiral Chester Nimitz Pacific War Museum.

This very unique museum tells the story of Japan’s rise to power, the beginning of the War in the Pacific and the events that led to the U.S. victory. There are also very interesting exhibits regarding the home front and the war’s effect on both Texas and the nation. Many artifacts are on display including newspaper articles, and mementos. You’ll also find a lot of information concerning individuals and their part in the war effort.

driskill hotel austin texas

Driskill Hotel, Austin Texas

Austin Texas

The most historic hotel in the state of Texas may very well be the Driskill Hotel located in downtown Austin.

When you tour this hotel you will marvel at the architecture, both inside and outside. This Austin Texas hotel is both a popular and fully operational hotel and at the same time is one of Austin Texas’ most historic sites. When you’re making a list of things to do in Austin Texas I would recommend you add the Driskill Hotel to your list.

Jesse Driskill purchased land at the corner of 6th and Brazos Streets for his new project of building a grand hotel. He had plenty of money from his Civil War beef operations and wanted to branch off with other investments.

driskill hotel texas

Grand staircase, Driskill Hotel

The Driskill Hotel was built for a reported $400,000. Not small money today and obviously a hug sum in the late 1800’s. Driskill built his luxurious Austin hotel to compete with the palaces of New York, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. When the hotel was completed it was by far the centerpiece of this frontier town being constructed of local brick and limestone with a hand laid marble floor. There was no other hotel like it in Texas at the time.

The Driskill Hotel is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Austin Texas. This historic hotel is located in the heart of Austin at 604 Brazos Street.

guenther house san antonio texas

Exhibit on the grounds of the Pioneer Flour Mill and Guenther House, San Antonio Texas

The Old Pioneer Mill and Guenther House in San Antonio

This mill was started by a German immigrant named Carl Hilmar Guenther who originally settled in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg.  The story about the Pioneer Flour Mill is a very interesting story about German immigration into frontier Texas. At the site is a wonderful museum within the Guenther House along with an award winning restaurant. Add to this beautiful gardened grounds. The museum now houses mill memorabilia including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters and anniversary Dresden china plates which were given to customers by the mill. The site address is 203 E. Guenther Street, San Antonio.

The old Pioneer Flour Mill and Guenther House is located in the King James area of San Antonio.

Additional Trips Into History articles you’ll enjoy include…

An Historic Texas Hotel in Waxahachie

The Comanche Indians

Cattle Drives and Cowboys

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

(Article and photos copyright 2013 Trips Into History)