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Coke Corner

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

The Coke mural was painted circa 1906. As a boy, Walt would have been fascinated with this: the wall of a building, acting as a giant-sized canvas, would have been exciting, especially for young Walt, with his growing interest in drawing and painting. Two Coca-Cola murals were painted that summer. One on each side of this block. The one on the South end disappeared with the burning of that building, and was forgotten about. The same fate may have been instore for this coke mural if wasn’t for the annex that was built on the back end of the Zurcher store in 1919, well after Walt had left for Kansas City. It protected the Coke mural for over 80 years. In 2002, a fire destroyed the apartments and a cleaning crew came in to clear the debris. We all stood in amazement, when the dust settled and the Coke mural was once again realized.

The mural has been refurbished twice since its rediscover. Once in 2015 and again in the summer of 2023. The original mural was digitized and paint samples were matched, so that the mural could be restored to its exact original design.

Next time you are in Disneyland, enjoying an iced cold Coca-Cola, make sure you toast to Marceline and the original Coke Corner.

When Walt was a boy living in Marceline, his 2 oldest brothers worked on the family’s farm with their father, Elias. Walt, Roy and Ruth, spent most of their time playing in the nearby creeks and fields with neighborhood children. Being just a little bit older, Roy would sometimes score himself a side job to earn spending money. On one particular occasion, he brought Walt along to help. They were both hoping to earn some cash for the annual fair in town. Walt and Roy were tasked with cleaning a horse-drawn hearse carriage for one of the undertakers in town. Specifically, Roy remembers doing the work and Walt remembers spending most of his time laying in the carriage pretending to be dead. Nevertheless, Roy shared the earnings.

The horse drawn hearse carriage in front of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland, another nod from Walt to his childhood memories of growing up in Marceline.

Look for the hearse carriages in both parks, although Walt was not living during the completion of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Roy made sure all the important details were taken care of.

Marceline has hosted a Fourth of July Celebration for as long as anyone can remember. The fair has been set up in different locations throughout the years. In the early days, the fair was held at the Santa Fe County Club, now known as the Walt Disney Municipal Park. Nowadays, the carnival is set up in Ripley Square. Folks still come from all over to spend the evening here. Marceline always has and still does host the best Fourth of July celebration around. Carnival rides, games, food, music, and of course, always ending in a firework display. It is most likely that Walt’s first memories of fireworks were the ones he witnessed while living here in Marceline. A firework show can leave a lasting impression on a young child, which is why every night at the Disney parks, families all gather to watch the famous fireworks displays. It’s the perfect “Kiss Goodnight” as Walt would say.


Activity Suggestion:

Get a Coke Manicure and have a mini photoshoot at the Coca-Cola mural.

Then walk across the street to Ma Vic's Corner Cafe and order a mini Dusty Miller.

The Dusty Miller is a staple dessert for the locals.

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