ATTENTION: Tuscawilla Preserve is temporarily closed.
The Root Family Museum was established in late 2001 and features one of the largest Coca-Cola memorabilia collections in the world, an immense collection of teddy bears, Indy Series race cars, train cars, and other popular Americana.
With every imaginable item relating to the bottling, advertising, and consumption of Coca-Cola in their collection, the Root family has collected one of the most historically important compilations of the iconic American soft drink on which their family fortune was founded. Through a selection of glass bottles representing the changing trends in bottling over the decades, this exhibit chronicles the transition of the Root Family Glass Works into associated Coca-Cola, the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the nation. This collection includes everything Coca-Cola, from the evolution of the Coca-Cola vending machines to the science behind the construction of the Coca-Cola bottle.
The collection also includes two mid-century train cars, which are housed in an enclosed Train Station. The “Silver Holly,” was originally a passenger dome liner and was converted by the Root Family into a private coach equipped with a kitchen, living room and enough beds to sleep their six children. The 1948 “Hiawatha” is a fully restored Milwaukee Road Skytop Lounge car. The service ran between Chicago and Minneapolis and claimed “400 miles in 400 minutes,” including its scheduled 12 stops. Now enclosed, this fascinating railroad exhibit allows for great insight on early American industrialists.
Containing an elaborate collection of over 800 Teddy Bears, this makes this Teddy Bear exhibit Florida’s largest collection of Teddy Bears. These adorable stuffed bears range from seven feet tall to only a few inches in height. The collection contains Teddy Bears dressed as flappers, police officers and even football players!
In addition to these intriguing displays, the Root Family Museum also includes an example of an early-aged pharmacy and small collection of race cars and quilts accumulated by the Root family.
Meet the members of the Root Family that were responsible for establishing Root Glass Co., leading to the design and patent of the original Coca-Cola bottle design.
In 1886, the Coca-Cola Company slid into history when Dr. John S. Pemberton’s curiosity led him to discover the tasty soft drink that we know and love today. Dr. Pemberton created a syrup and brought it to his neighborhood pharmacy where he mixed it with carbonated water and those who tried it believed it to be superb. Dr. Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, is credited with naming the beverage “Coca-Cola” as well as using the classic, recognizable script still used today.
One of the many exhibits in the Root Family Museum is the train station. This exhibit includes two fully-restored, mid-century train cars that illustrate the lives of early American industrialists. The “Dell Rapids,” and the “Silver Holly” were two cars owned by the Root Family, one of which they utilized throughout their lives.