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Want to take home dinosaur bones and moon rocks? This one-stop shop in Tennessee has it all

The Smoky Mountain Relic Room in Sevierville is home to the most diverse range of history for sale in North America


How much room would it take to store the entire history of the universe?

As it turns out, a great deal of it fits in one small corner of a 110,000 square foot facility right in Tennessee. The Smoky Mountain Relic Room, part of the larger Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, is home to the largest and most diverse range of historical artifacts for sale in North America. Items sold range from out-of-this world (meteorites and moon rocks) to prehistoric (fossils and dinosaur bones).

Touching cultures around the globe, spanning millennia, and inclusive of treasures from far-flung corners of earth and sky, the Relic Room is an impressive exercise in compression. Nowhere else could you see a Triceratops toothmetaphysical crystals and a WWII-era bayonet under the same roof, let alone buy all three with change to spare.

A retail experience like no other

The incredible collection is 40 years and three generations in the making, according to Relic Room co-owner and operator Chase Pipes, who took over this unique arm of the family business about 15 years ago. His father and grandfather before him were antique and artifact dealers from whom Pipes inherited a love of history and the methods and relationships necessary to preserve and share it.

According to Pipes, the Relic Room is not just a labor of love, but an effort to give everyday people a personal stake in history by letting them take home a piece of it, becoming de facto caretakers of the past.                                                                   

“I love looking at the expressions on our visitors’ faces when they comprehend that for the first time, they can take home authentic pieces of history, like actual dinosaur bones or ancient Roman coins, and they don’t have to be independently wealthy or a museum curator to do so,” Pipes said in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“There are more historical artifacts and relics in the world than there are museum spaces or university collections to house them,” Pipes said, which is what makes it possible to buy a dinosaur tooth for $15. “We are motivated to see this abundance of historical treasures wind up in the hands of people who are interested in protecting them and passing them down to future generations.”

Bringing history home

The Relic Room works with trusted traders, dealers and discoverers of history to curate its stock. As authenticity and legality are key to the store’s success, they ensure all artifacts are acquired legally on private property with the permission of the landowners.

“Nearly everything we have for sale comes from men and women all over the country who are actively discovering history in the field and adding new information to the scientific record,” Pipes said of their acquisition process.

It helps tremendously that Pipes makes a point of being out there in the field himself every year, often accompanied by his own son, as a direct intermediary between source and showroom.

“Because we are onsite with the people making these finds, we record as much scientific information as we can and keep that info with the artifact for future historians, paleontologists or Relic Room customers to access,” Pipes said.

A treasure trove in person, and online

Pipes is as passionate about fossils as he is about educating the public about fossils — and every other piece of history on or off the shelf. That’s why in addition to being co-owner and operator, he’s taken it upon himself to provide the public with free educational materials in the form of Chasing Historya podcast and YouTube channel.

The result is a treasure trove of knowledge to match the impressive physical contents of the Relic Room itself. To date, Pipes and Relic Room store manager Kris Kauffman have produced over 75 video episodes documenting their discovery sites. Seeing is believing, after all. And for those who prefer to listen, the Chasing History podcast “digs” even deeper into various historical discoveries and events.

“We believe history belongs to everyone” Pipes said. “So the next time you stop by Smoky Mountain Knife Works, we invite you to embark on a journey through the Relic Room. Even if you choose not to make a purchase, we think you’ll appreciate the journey back in time and all the knowledge that goes with it.”

Jennifer Markert

for the Smoky Mountain Relic Room

Knox News 



2320 Winfield Dunn PKWY,

Sevierville, TN 37876



Opening Hours


10:00 am – 6:00 pm

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