While some attractions are a dime a dozen, there are other vacation destinations that are totally unique to Gatlinburg. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is about as unique as they come. Considered one of Gatlinburg’s hidden gems, this quirky museum is home to over 20,000 pairs of salt and pepper shakers! Featuring shakers of every variety from around the world, this collection is the only one of its kind in the United States. Visit My Smokies has put together a convenient guide with everything you need to know about the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum Gatlinburg.
When people hear about the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, they invariably ask the same question: why does this place exist? The answer is that once upon a time, in the 1980s, Andrea Ludden needed a pepper mill.
Andrea and her husband Rolf had recently moved from South America to La Jolla, CA, when Andrea started visiting garage sales and flea markets in search of a pepper mill to season food with. Since most of the pepper mills she purchased ended up being more ornamental than functional, Andrea decided to place the mills on her windowsill as decoration, along with a few salt shakers. When the Ludden’s neighbors noticed the displays in the window, they assumed she was collecting salt and pepper shakers and started bringing over bags of them.
As Andrea amassed more and more shakers, the search for unique salt and pepper dispensers became an almost obsessive hobby. An archeologist by trade, Andrea was fascinated with how human history and culture is reflected in salt and pepper shakers from years past. Even as a child in Belgium, Andrea was intrigued by the saltbox in her godmother’s kitchen.
Over the years, salt and pepper shakers began to overtake the Ludden household. Rolf kept building shelves to store the shakers, but at a certain point he started to feel as though “we were living with them, not them with us”. In 2001, the Luddens decided to move their collection out of their home and into a museum in Cosby, TN. Four years later, Andrea and Rolf decided that the city of Gatlinburg was a better location for their special musuem. The rest, as they say, is history!
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum may not be very large, but it is absolutely packed to the brim. Thousands of shakers line the shelves behind glass cases, with the entire collection organized thematically. In addition to the shakers, the museum also hosts about 1,500 pepper mills.
Guests at the museum will see salt and pepper shakers from every decade, and even some from the 1500s! The shakers in the collection are designed to look like just about everything, including animals, historical figures, U.S. states, foods, cars, cowboys, castles, houses, skulls, aliens, and virtually anything else you can think of. The museum also boasts a number of silver and gold shakers that are valued at thousands of dollars.
Where is the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum Located?
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is located in the Winery Square shopping plaza, at 461 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. You will find the museum off of Gatlinburg’s East Parkway.
What are the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum’s Hours?
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum’s hours vary by season, so you will definitely want to confirm when they are open before you head out to visit them. For the most up to date information, call 865-430-555 or visit the museum’s official website: http://thesaltandpeppershakermuseum.com/
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum’s spring hours are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday. During peak season, the museum is typically open daily from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum Gatlinburg?
The price is definitely right at the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum! Admission is only $3.00 per person, and children 12 and under get in for free. The best part is that the admission fee goes toward any purchase in the museum’s gift shop. Featuring dozens of shakers inspired by all of your favorite cartoons, TV shows, movies, and more, the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum’s gift shop is the perfect place to find a new pair for your kitchen table.
For more information about attractions in the area, check out our Things to Do in Gatlinburg page!