Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life

Devil’s Hollow Shoe Tree Photos

14 Comments

Yesterday morning I visited one of my favorite blogs (The Top Ten of Anything and Everything) and was surprised to find a post on shoe tossing. You really need to check out this blog. He has some of the most weird, crazy, yummy and downright beautiful photos on there. You’ll love it. Back to the shoe tossing. We have our own local shoe tree and I’d planned to visit to get some pictures. Seeing these top ten photos inspired me to keep those plans.


shoe tree-sign-2  shoe tree-sign-1Our shoe tree is located at the crossroads of Devil’s Hollow Road and Shoetree-McFelea Lane. Now with a name like Devil’s Hollow you’d expect to see some strange things and I have seen a few in the past, especially around Halloween. But I digress. I’ve heard a couple of different stories as to how the tradition of tossing shoes into that tree started. First, around 1960 some boys threw their shoes up there in celebration of winning a big basketball game. Second, also around 1960, a couple of brothers threw their shoes up there just to see if anyone else would do the same. Regardless of how it started, the shoe tree is a local landmark and tourist attraction. There’ a rumor that basketball star Larry Bird’s shoes were hung in that tree and since he is a local guy, who knows.

shoe tree-old-2 shoe tree-oldThe original tree was a huge old maple. Quite a few years ago someone actually tried to cut it down. I wish I’d taken a picture of it then. You could see the ax or saw marks. But the tree stood and people continued to adorn it with all kinds of shoes. I’ve even taken my boys over there and we’ve added our own. They thought it was great fun. It’s also hard work. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to toss those shoes and get them to stay where you want them. Unfortunately our shoes may have been destroyed because the poor tree burned and all that remained was one tall charred trunk. There was speculation that the person who’d tried to chop it down came back and burned it, but the official story is a lightening strike.

shoe tree-8 shoe tree-7 shoe tree-10

A tall sycamore across the lane was already sprouting it’s own bumper crop of seedling shoes, so the natural thing was that it become the new shoe tree.

shoe tree-babyThere’s even a baby shoe tree beginning to sprout. Ah yes, the tradition continues. 🙂 Enjoy the pictures. You can click for larger images and don’t forget to check out The Top Ten of Anything and Everything

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Author: Elizabeth Melton Parsons

I'm a novelist, poet, and artist. I love books, nature, art, and gardening. I'm a rock hound and there's a photo of me with a cool fossil rock on my about page, I take a lot of nature pictures. The background here is one of mine. Unfortunately I recently lost my wonderful husband, but I'm grateful to have the blessing of two beautiful sons. elizabethmeltonparsons.wordpress.com is © Elizabeth Melton Parsons 2007-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elizabeth Melton Parsons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

14 thoughts on “Devil’s Hollow Shoe Tree Photos

  1. A shoetree!! kinda cool!! And somewhat explains the phenomenon of shoes dangling in the oddest places… in every city you go and you look up…there is a telephone pole or something similar with a shoe dangling from the wire…

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  2. Could do with a separate store to put all my wife’s shoes!What is it with women and shoes!!

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  3. That is amazing and there are hundreds of them!

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  4. There was probably thousands on the old tree before it burned. 🙂

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  5. I love anything out of the ordinary and this cute little story about a shoe tree, takes the boot…um I mean CAKE! lol Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I so enjoy seeing traditions like this start in a city. Would love to see this in person. I have to laugh how you and I have traded states in life. You from Florida now in Indiana, Me born and raised in Indiana, now settling in Florida♥

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    • I think you’ll love Florida,(I hope you do) but you will probably miss the changing seasons. My hubby is from Miami and misses the ocean even more than I do, but he mostly just hates winter here in Indiana. So who knows, someday we may be southward bound 🙂

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  7. Travel Australian outback and you will find plenty of shoe tree ornaments they break the momentum of driving when you drive across the desert

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  8. Reblogged this on Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond and commented:
    Can’t resist rebogging a few more shoe trees!

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“Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.” ― Mark Twain

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