Special to the Opelika Observer
Members of the community and Coca-Cola enthusiasts everywhere are invited to the unveiling of one of the oldest unretouched Coca-Cola painted wall advertisements in existence. The unveiling event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. at Smith T Building Supply in downtown Opelika. Historians from The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta and community leaders will be in attendance. Vintage bottles of Coke will be given away while supplies last.
Dozier Smith T, native of Opelika and owner of Smith T Hardware and Building Supply, recently discovered the mural, believed to have been painted in 1907 or 1908, perfectly preserved behind plaster and wood on the interior wall of his store.
“We knew something was there. We started to just chisel away,” Smith T said.
The painted wall advertisement, which covers the entire brick wall, reads: Coca-Cola, Relieves Fatigue, Sold Everywhere, 5¢. It was painted on what was then an exterior wall that was in plain view of the Atlanta-bound railroad tracks, then covered in plaster when the adjacent building was constructed in 1910. Smith T Building Supply has occupied the space since 1931, being owned and managed by the Smith T family for three generations.