The Shoe House
House built in 1948, was by far Haines' most outlandish
advertising gimmick. The building, modelled after a high-topped work
shoe, is a wood frame structure covered with wire lath and coated with
a cement stucco. It measures 48 feet in length, 17 feet in width at the
widest part and 25 feet in height. The interior consists of five
different levels and contains three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and
The shoe motif is everywhere--from the design of
the stained glass
windows to the shoe-shaped dog house and the decoration on the wooden
fence that surrounds the property. In the ultimate homage to the shoe
and the wizard, the door to the main entrance bears a portrait in
stained glass of Haines himself displaying a pair of shoes!
This giant structural advertisement was originally used as a quest
house. In the first year after its completion, elderly couples were
invited to stay for a weekend and live like "kings and queens" at
Haines' expense. They had a maid, cook, chauffeur and automobile at
their disposal and the couple was outfitted from head to toe in new
clothing donated by local stores. In 1950 honeymooning couples from any
town with a Haines shoe store were invited to stay at the Shoe House.
Haines left the Shoe House to his employees who sold it in 1964 to a
dentist. For the next twenty years, it was a popular ice cream parlor,
with tours of the building an added attraction for curious visitors.
In the Spring of 1987 the Shoe House returned to the Haines family when
a granddaughter of the "Shoe Wizard" purchased the building. The Shoe
House is completely restored and is being operated as a museum
dedicated to the eccentric "Colonel" Haines.