Seashell museum to come to Loudon County
LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The view from outside Dr. Peter Stimpson's home is breathtaking.
"We've actually seen a couple of bald eagles here," says Stimpson.
But, the rarest species on his property you won't find outdoors. Tucked away in his basement, you'll find small shells, big shells, orange shells and blue ones.
Altogether, his collection of shells is a few hundred thousand. He estimates his collection is the third or fourth largest in the world.
There's just one problem: he's running out of room.
So, he's found a new place to house his collection. The former Loudon High School could soon be home to the world's largest publicly viewable seashell collection.
"I don't know what's going to happen to these things once I'm gone so, the museum is a nice idea. Everyone can enjoy it and even seashell experts from Europe will come look at that," says Stimpson.
While the nearest ocean is hundreds of miles away, it's a chance to enjoy the ocean's beauty close to home.
"I've tried to relax in different ways. I've tried being a pilot and a sailor and all that stuff is kind of noisy, so, I get more relaxation with this," says Stimpson.
The museum will be called the Stimpson Seashell Museum and is set to open after renovations are completed next spring.