Shoe House Gets Save-A-Landmark Makeover

The famous Haines Shoe House in south-central Pennsylvania got a fresh look through the efforts of Hampton Hotels’ Save-A-Landmark program. Built in 1948, the 3-story stucco shoe and its fence were painted at no charge of materials or labor. Carleen and Ronald Farabaugh have owned the house since 2003, giving tours and selling ice cream, and occasionally staying overnight. Carleen told me there’s always work to be done but they are thrilled with what the company’s 15 volunteers accomplished: “The Shoe House was desperately in need of a facelift. Hampton’s generosity should help to preserve the Shoe House for years to come so everyone can enjoy it.” She adds that all revenue is put into its restoration.
Shoe House restoration

The house was built as a promotional gimmick for Mahlon Haines to advertise his chain of shoe stores—he’d loan the shoe (actually, a work boot) free to honeymooners and retirees who lived in a town that had a Haines Shoe Store. The house was set back a bit from the Lincoln Highway, but a Route 30 bypass now runs just outside its windows.

Chris Epting, author of numerous books on roadside landmarks, was there as spokesman for the Save-A-Landmark program doing TV and radio spots: “This was another wonderful opportunity to be a part of helping to restore a vital roadside landmark. This program continues to succeed on levels that are unprecedented for these kinds of efforts, and I’m very proud to be working with Hampton Inn as we move forward to the next landmark.” Also attending was Kyle Weaver of Stackpole Books, editor of my books and working with Epting on a forthcoming Stackpole title, The Birthplace Book. The photos seen here were graciously loaned by Kyle.

Hampton donated $20,000 in supplies for the Shoe redo, and organized a collecting effort for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes shoes for people affected by natural disasters.

Shoe House shoe collection

Hampton Hotels’ Save-A-Landmark program has helped preserve more than 30 American architectural oddities since 2000. The Shoe has it’s own Hampton page, and an article about the event ran in the York Daily Record.

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