“Walk-in” visitors may enjoy the brief video presentation, visit the museum, farm and shop from the freshwater pearl jewelry showroom open 7 days a week, year around.
GUIDED TOUR PACKAGES
All tours require advance reservations and 15 or more persons to “book” a date. Singles and small groups may add on to other existing booked tours.
All tours are greeted with popcorn, lemonade and coffee (optional).
$55.00* per person
Duration: 3-5 hours
Orientation - addresses the history of freshwater pearls of the world; the history of the only freshwater pearl-culturing operation in the North American continent’s founder – John Latendressee (1925-2000); an overview of the pearl-culturing process explains incidents participants will see throughout the tour.
Visit with a local diver – a local diver emerges from beneath the water in full wet suit hoisting his “catch of the day” onto the docks. Participants see the different species of mussels found in the Tennessee River, and enjoy a brief biology lesson on how the mussel fits into the aquaculture system of the area waters.
Meet the farm manager – from a lakeside pavillion, participants watch as the farm manager retrieves a nucleated basket of mussels via his work boat. Retuning the basket for closer inspection, tourists witness the “shucking” of a mussel to reveal the State of Tennessee’s official gem: the freshwater pearl. Learn in detail about technicians, the nucleation process, quality grading and more.
Southern-Style Catered BBQ Luncheon – Enjoy the catered luncheon at the community center with the “southern-style” catered luncheon. Featured on the standard menu are: barbecue ribs, pulled pork barbecue, grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans, slaw, corn fritters, dessert and drink. (Other menu selections available upon request).
Souvenir Shopping – Shop from our extensive freshwater pearl jewelry showroom with items from all over the world. Choose one of our freshwater pearls, or enjoy the variety of color and other shapes available from other countries. The Tennessee River – Mississippi Basin area hosts a unique species of mussel that over 90% of the pearl growers of the world want. This species features a unusually thick shell that allows for the three-dimensional shaping of implants to culture pearls. Tennessee exports millions of dollars in mussel shells to foreign countries annually. Even the renowned black Tahitian pearl – begins with a Tennessee River mussel shell. So whether the pearls were grown in our farm – or not – rest assured that it most likely began… with a Tennessee River mussel shell.
Tennessee River Folk Life Museum (optional add on based on itinerary time allowance) – Trek to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park’s Tennessee Folk Life Museum – home of the historical Pilot Knob. The museum houses an antique brail boat (used for musseling prior to the invention of the electric motor), artifacts from the pearl button factories that once lined the river banks, pearling and diving industry exhibits, and many Civil War items of interest.
$39.50* per person
Duration: 1-2 hours
“Full Tour” Itinerary, less the luncheon and the diver
“School-Age Children’s” Tour
$5.00* - $25.00* per person
Duration: 1-2 hours
Pricing based on inclusion. Box lunch, grilled hamburgers and hotdog lunch, swimming pool and other items may be included. Call the tour guide – Bob Keast – for a quote.
“Tour Bus Tweener” Tour
$17.50* per person
Duration: 1 hour
Guided presentation with synopsis of history and the pearl-culturing process, enjoy the museum, enjoy a short video presentation, visit the farm, and shop from the freshwater pearl jewelry showroom.
Optional lunch add ons: catered box luncheon - add $5.00 per person.
For more information click HERE.
* Prices DO NOT include applicable sales tax.
Request a free vacation guide, view our e-guide version, or download our iPad app.
255 Marina Road - 9 Miles North of Exit 133 on I-40 - Camden Kentucky Lake, Tennessee 38320-9699
Monday - Saturday 8-5
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