World's Largest Shoe


Hallam Pennsylvania

The Hallam Shoe House is an icon of the Lincoln Highway, and one of the great World's Largest Things. I saw it just as the sun was setting (after spotting a sign for Shoehouse road...), and decided I just HAD to come back in the morning...

According to "The Well-Built Elephant":

In 1949, Colonel Mahlon Haines, "the shoe wizard," chose the highest knoll overlooking U.S. 30 as the site for his house in the shape of a workman's shoe. This self-appointed "colonel" (in the tradition of Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Parker and Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken) made a fortune in the shoe business through sharp wheeling and dealing and shrewd self-promotion. The shoe house he built was not only a home but also an advertisement. The structure itself is 40 feet long and over 28 feet tall, constructed of wood, steel, and wire lath, and covered with 2 inches of waterproofed cement stucco. It is built on five levels.

Once again, it was just shy of tourist season, so I didn't get to go inside on this trip - but, now that I've seen the World's Largest Shoe, I can make a World's Smallest Version for a meta-photo on the next go-round. The tour guide was very polite, explaining that it was a busy day, and she would be willing to open up for a very short time, or I could step over the fence and wander on my own. Be sure to call first, as the inside is an amazing experience, too...

And, in the backyard, there's a smaller giant shoe, which acts as a doghouse. so, maybe the meta-photo can be a meta-meta-photo.


World's Largest Shoe Stats:

40 feet long, 28 feet tall, wood, steel, cement, stucco

Built 1949 by Colonel Mahlon Haines, The Shoe Wizard

This from a World's Largest Things dot com reader:
I visited the shoe house 6 years ago and was told the following story: The owner of the shoe company let employees use the shoe house for special occasions...on their birthday they could spend the night, and newlyweds could go to the shoe for a honeymoon weekend, or if you were celebrating an anniversary. It was a gift for being a loyal employee. The shoe house came with a butler/chauffeur and a maid/cook at your disposal. It is absolutely charming and I would love to have been able to stay overnight! It was for sale 6 years ago for only $139,000! A steal! We love the shoe! Norma from Maryland


I'll post more as I get information.
Tips? Photos? Please share:
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