Tennessee Freshwater Pearl Museum Destroyed by Fire

Dec 22, 2016

Credit Brent Moore / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The Tennessee Freshwater Pearl Museum has been destroyed in a Benton County fire, but its owner is determined to rebuild.  

Owner Bob Keast says the building that housed the museum and offices burned down Tuesday night.  

There were no injuries and the pearls, which are grown across a 58-acre lot in Kentucky Lake, are also safe.  

Benton County Emergency Management Agency Director Richard Kee says investigators believe the fire started in the shop behind the museum.  The cause has not yet been determined.  

Keast says he and his family will rebuild the museum, which is part of Birdsong Marina.  

The museum contained a railboat used prior to World War II, diving equipment, and other items on the creation of freshwater pearls.