During a recent visit to Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, I stopped in the town of Gatlinburg. It is one of the state’s biggest tourist town, as it borders the aforementioned national park, as well as a ski resort and numerous man made attractions. I only had a couple of hours to see the sights, so I decided to stop at what was probably the quirkiest (and cheapest) museum in town: The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.
The museum was founded about 25 years ago, when curator Andrea Ludden purchased a pair of shakers at a garage sale in California. She displayed them on her window, and for some reason people had assumed she was a collector. Once neighbors started gifting other shakers to her, Ludden began to admire the creativity behind some of sets, and thus the collection was born. What had begun with a few pairs has grown to a collection of over 20.000 salt and pepper shakers from different areas and various parts of the world. Ludden runs the museum with her husband Rolf and daughter Andrea, who have organized all the shakers into distinct themes. There really isn’t much else to say about the museum, so let’s go to the pictures!
Transportation, from cars to donkeys
No HM post is complete without cats
Even the Amish have their own display
A Stephen Colbert favorite
March of the Penguin (shakers)
Elongated animals. Very specific
The Vault, where the most valuable shakers are stored
No local museum is complete without something from Tennessee’s favorite daughter
If you ever find yourself in Gatlinburg, this place is definitely worth a stop. It shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to go through the exhibits, and admission is only $3 (which is also good towards any purchase in their gift shop). At that point, it’s just a good deal.