At the south end of Maney Ave, where it intersects Broad Street, now sits the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs. Many people might remember the location being more commercial due to the large Coca-Cola bottling plant that sat there for almost a century.
The original business that sat at the edge of the natural spring was Stones River Creamery. It was founded in 1884 by C. B. Huggins, and represents the beginning of Rutherford county’s creamery industry. By 1902, Huggins brought S. B. Christy into the business, turning the creamery into a soda bottling company and ice factory.
The plant bottled Coca-Cola products from the early 19th century until 1985. Along with bottling soda and manufacturing ice, the Christy and Huggins Corporation supplied the community with energy for heat by operating the coal yard that sat nearby. With technological advances such as air conditioning, the coal business was no longer profitable by the mid-1950s. Ice production was also stopped in the 1960s, with access to at-home refrigeration rendering it unprofitable.
Due to the sprawling Broad Street project and city urbanization plans, the factory closed its doors in 1985, making way for enormous road expansion. Today the city has restored much of the area to its natural state. It now not only houses the 18,000-square-foot Discovery Center Museum, but is also home to the 25-acre Murfree Springs Wetlands recreational park, where visitors can observe the area’s wildlife in its native ecosystem.