National Knife Museum ......Closed?

Mar 12, 1999
On the way home from the Blade Show I stopped overnight in the vicinity of Chattanooga, TN. Across the street from where I was staying was a building with a "For Sale" sign on it; the building was the home of the "National Knife Museum." Of course it was closed and a local told me it had been closed for ome time. He said a major contributor to the museum was "Frost Cutlery" along with a rather large collection of donated knives.

Anyone ever visit this place or know where it (if it did) relocate? It was just kind of startling to come across this facility in the obscure location where I found it. The location alone would make it easy to understand if it failed.

The closest I've come to a knife "museum" is the collection contained at Smokey Mountain Knife Works in Seveirville, TN; an awesome collection.
I'm hoping youre wrong about the closeing of the museum. About two years ago I donated about 50 knives to the museum and if they close, I want my knives back.
The museum was/is on Shallowford Rd, just across the street from Hamilton Place shopping Center. It has signs all over saying the building's being sold. There were some people in the parking lot lot and when I approached them they told me the museum was shut down.

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. Let me know what you find out
Unfortunately it's been closed for quite a while (more than a year). At least the sign's been there that long. Their website, /~burtonld/nkm.html, is gone also. The chamber of commerce has some phone numbers and a mailing address: =11977.

Jumbi, your right about SMKW's collection - I still drool over some of the pearl-handle collections and I've been going there for years! Not long ago the had a Case Display for 1999 - every model was there. It was a one-of-a-kind item and it was only $2500. If I'd had the money, I would have bought it as an investment. Awesome. Too bad they don't carry Benchmades - SMKW told me it's because they can't keep them stock reliably.

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 21 June 1999).]
Codeman, that's really sad news about the museum but thanks for the info.

I hope "Mak" is able to recover his knives.
The knife museum is NOT CLOSED.

I was just there 1 1/2 weeks ago. The building they are in is for lease, but the receptionist told me that they don't know what the realtors plans were. I was also told that the museum would stay open even if they had to move.

Next time you are there, check the hours. I think they are a little weird (close at 3:00 pm or something). If you haven't been there before, check it out, but call 1st to make sure they will be open when you go there.
Thanks fenixforge!

I've been sad each time I've seen the sign out front and I've never tried to go in because of it (duh). That, and I've never seen any cars in the lot - bad timing I guess. Can't wait for my next trip to Cnooga - will definitely stop by!
The National Knife Museum is operated by the
National Knife Collectors Association. The Museum has been losing money - I don,t know all of the story, but the following is from June 1999 issue of KNIFE WORLD, (which is sort of the official publication of the Assoc.


There has been no significant progress since our last update regarding the relocation of the National Knife Museum. The developer of a long tract of adjacent property has sued the City of Chattanoga over their refusal to rezone their property. This litigation will affect the sale of our property since rezoning of our parcel will be needed for its future commercial development.
We are continuing to evaluate and visit other possible locations but no specific site has been identified."

anyone interested in joining the NKCA can call them at:
or on the web at:

[This message has been edited by theoldawg (edited 21 June 1999).]