Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
Spice up your Gatlinburg vacation with a visit to the one-of-a-kind Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. With more than 20,000 sets of shakers in more shapes and styles than you can imagine, this colorful slice of household history is a local treasure you’ll remember for years.
You’ll see shakers styled as cars, skulls, animals, buildings, favorite brands and advertising icons, even presidents and monarchs! Historic shakers from as far back as the 1500s tell the story of how simply sprinkling salt onto our food has always fascinated us. Want to know how many holes a salt shaker should have? Wonder why pepper can be green, white, or pink instead of black? The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum can answer your questions as well as delight your eyes.
A DASH OF LOCAL HISTORY
This collection began about 35 years ago when Andrea Ludden simply needed a pepper mill--not for decoration but just to grind pepper. Before long, though, she and husband Rolf had pepper mills on display at home, joined by some salt and pepper shakers, and a collection bloomed. Friends started giving Andrea shakers and Rolf began building shelves for the growing collection.
When the Luddens moved from Texas to Tennessee in 2001, the collection moved with them. The rest is Gatlinburg history.
As an archaeologist, Andrea views the shakers as artifacts showing how societies change. She says she wonders who the artists were who were “creative enough to come up with all these amazing different shapes.”
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
The museum arranges shakers by themes (with sets of pepper mills dividing the collections!). You’ll find shakers impersonating fast-food favorites, elegant shakers of cut glass, souvenir shakers for vacation destinations, holiday-themed shakers, and even shakers shaped like famous volcanoes. You might just spot shakers like the ones your folks kept on the table when you were growing up.
Admission is inexpensive--just $3.00--and your admission fee gets applied toward any purchase you make from the museum shop, too. Kids 12 and under are free, making this museum a great outing for families.
Opening hours vary throughout the year, so check the Salt and Pepper Museum website or Facebook page for current opening times. Finding the museum is easy. It’s in Gatlinburg’s Winery Square on Brookside Village Way, just off the Parkway.