Haines Shoe House

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Haines Shoe House in 2008

The Haines Shoe House is a shoe-shaped house in Hallam, Pennsylvania, along the Lincoln Highway.

Modeled after a work boot, the house was built by shoe salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 as a form of advertisement.[1] Among his various companies, he owned a company that likes to claim that they raised boots "hoof-to-hoof" because the company did the boot making process starting with raising the cattle.[2] The house, which is 25 feet (7.6 m) tall and contains five stories, was once rented out to couples, and is now open for public tours. It is located on Shoe House Road, next to a shoe-shaped doghouse.[1][3] Haines had the building built by handing a work boot to an architect saying, "Build me a house like this."[3] He lived in the shoe house for a short while but ended up moving into a house across the street. The renters were served by a maid and butler and then received free pairs of shoes when they left. A Shoe House vacation contest was held which was won in 1950 and had all expenses paid by Mahlon Haines. Fire escapes were added to the house in the 1960s.[3]

The living room is located in the toe, the kitchen is located in the heel, two bedrooms are located in the ankle, and an ice cream shop is located in the instep. When Mahlon decided to sell the house, it started going to ruin until it was bought by his granddaughter Annie Haines Keller in 1987.[4] The current owners are Carleen and Ronald Farabaugh who bought the house in 2004. The house received a small renovation and new paint in 2007.[3] There is also a stained glass panel that shows Mahlon holding a pair of shoes with a message below it that reads, "Haines the Shoe Wizard".[4] Visitors can stand on the observation platform. During the 2004 opening after the Farabaughs bought the property, boy scouts ran Easter egg hunts there. Mahlon's family told stories about their relative and an author sold copies of his book The Life and Times of Mahlon Haines.[3]

The Shoe House was visited in the eighth season of the reality television series The Amazing Race and was featured on HGTV's What's With That House. The Farabaughs are happy about the publicity although they were unable to talk about the house appearing on The Amazing Race until two years later.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Matt Lake (2009). Weird Pennsylvania. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4027-6686-2. 
  2. ^ Jensen, Jamie (2009). Road Trip USA. Avalon Travel. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-59880-101-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Haines Shoe House". Roadside America. 
  4. ^ a b Headley, Gwyn (1996). Architectural follies in America. Wiley-Interscience. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-471-14362-8. 
  5. ^ Charles Schillinger. "The Shoe House takes center stage on HGTV show". Allbusiness.com. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°59′56″N 76°38′13″W / 39.99889°N 76.63694°W / 39.99889; -76.63694