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City of Quincy unveils mural recognizing history of Coke plant, city

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 7:49 PM EDT
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QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) - More than soda and more than a fresh coat of paint; the city of Quincy has unveiled its new Coca-Cola mural to recognize more than 100 years of history.

Dozens of community members and elected officials gathered Tuesday morning to relieve that history.

Stories from families sharing their parents working at the first bottling plant in Quincy, or having several generations do the same. The mural has become an iconic part of downtown and, officials say, restoring it is restoring part of the city’s identity.

“There are two things that rise above the rest when you talk about the city of Quincy: That’s shade tree tobacco and Coca-Cola,” said Quincy Mayor Ronte Harris.

During the ceremony city leaders revisited the history between Quincy and Coca Cola.

As the story goes, Quincy banker Pat Monroe was one of the first major investors in the company. After persuading several other residents to do the same, nearly seventy people in the town became known as the ‘Coca Cola Millionaires.’

At one point, Quincy was the richest city per capita in the U.S.

Mayor Pro Tem Angela Sapp says that impacted everyone.

“When the national economy collapsed, it was the Coca-Cola cash that allowed people to stay in their homes," Sapp said.

Mayo Woodward, Pat Monroe, says this history is really about the love they have for the city.

“They feel strongly about it, about what the city did for them,” he said. "It’s not just Coca-Cola, but the city and with the people in this city, what it means to them.

A wall with few words, but countless stories to tell.

Mayor Harris says this is just the start of several other projects to revitalize downtown as part of the Recovery and Resiliency Partnership Project (R2D2) to rebuild after being devastated by Hurricane Michael.

“We have a strategic plan to bring life back to our downtown. We took a big hit during Hurricane Michael, and you can see some of the remnants, you can see some of the damages that are still here,” Harris said. “But that plan is in place through a multitude of funding sources to start revitalizing downtown.”

The city is working to build space to socialize, improve downtown intersections and develop a nature trail.

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