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Dr Pepper Museum offers historic tour

April 29, 1997

Amanda Moore / The Baylor Lariat

The Dr Pepper Museum, located at 300 S. Fifth St., is one of the most popular attractions in the Waco area. They feature exhibits on the history of the soft drink, as well as an old soda fountain where one can taste the beverage originally known as the 'Waco.'

By Robin Starnes

Lariat Reporter

Entertainment opportunities do exist in Waco for students short on time and ideas.

The Dr Pepper Museum retells the story of the native soda and shows the Waco of the 1850s.

The first room in the museum is a recreation of the original pharmacy, destroyed in the tornado of 1953, where Dr Pepper was invented. Dr. Charles 'Doc' Alderton, the drink's inventor, lives on in the form of a talking mannequin who narrates the tour.

'I've been given lots of credit for creating a new soda flavor,' the mannequin said. 'Now it's called Dr Pepper, but in the beginning everyone just called it The Waco.'

The mannequin said that the original soda fountain served all of the standard flavors such as cherry, grape and lime, but he decided to experiment with something different.

'I decided that the best flavor would be one that tasted like a drug store smelled,' he said.

From a novelty flavor served only in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store, the drink soon spread to all of Waco.

'For a while, Waco was the only place you could get a Dr Pepper,' the mannequin said.

In 1904, Dr Pepper was introduced to the world at St. Louis' World's Fair Exposition.

From there, it grew to a nationally-known product.

The museum houses all of the Dr Pepper paraphernalia you could ever hope to encounter as well as pictures of Waco in the 1950s, photos of the city after the tornado and a soda fountain serving a variety of Dr Pepper-related drinks.

Sonia Wharton, a Dallas junior, visited the museum as a freshman.

'It was interesting,' Wharton said. 'I don't even like Dr Pepper so I didn't expect to enjoy it. For something to do in Waco, it was pretty interesting. The museum is a good place to go once.'

Admission for students is $1.50 with an I.D. The museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

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