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The Shoe House. Live in a shoe.

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The Shoe House

The Shoe 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 living room. The Boot HouseThe 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 local 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.

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