Haines Shoe House - Hellam, PA
N 39° 59.941 W 076° 38.230
18S E 360246 N 4428931
Quick Description: This is a must see attraction off the beaten path. Come see a giant shoe house and stay for ice cream. The shoe is open Friday to Sunday for tours.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 1:18:30 PM
Waymark Code: WM5W9Y
The following comes from The Lincoln Highway, Pennsylvania Travelers Guide, 2nd Edition By Brian A. Butko, © 2002 by Stackpole Books, pages 125-126
""The Shoe Wizard" Haines built a shoe sales empire in central Pennsylvania and northern maryland which included more than forty stores. Haines had a flair for outlandish advertising, calling himself "Colonel" Haines and offering money to smokers if they promised to quit and to those in a crowd who could identify him. The shoe house was his ultimate gimmick. Built in 1948 (when Haines was seventy-three years old) of stucco over a wood and wire framework, there are seven rooms but really only enough space for a small family. The shoe motif is everywhere, including a stained glass window with an image of Haines in it. Haines offered the house free to elderly couples, who could live for a weekend like "kings and queens" at Haines expense. After 1950, it was also offered to honeymooners who had a Haines Shoe Store in their town. After his death, it served as an ice cream parlor but deteriorated until it was bought at auction by Haines's granddaughter Annie Keller. She restored and briefly operated it as a tourist attraction; new owners have opened it again."
The Shoe House was built in 1948 (and completed in 1949) by Colonel Mahlon M. Haines, a colorful "Shoe Wizard," to help market his business. Although it does not advertise for a shoe business anymore, you can buy ice cream here and take a tour. I was there personally and had ice cream last year.
The house is a wood frame structure covered with wire lath and coated with a cement stucco. It measures 48 ft. in length, 17 ft. in width at the widest part and 25 ft. in height. The interior consists of five different levels and contains three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living room.
This giant structural advertisement was originally used as a guest 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.In the spring of 1987 the Shoe House returned to the Haines family when a granddaughter of the "Shoe Wizard" (Ruth Miller) purchased the building.
The fire escape was added in the 60s.
Friday - 12:30 - 4:00
Saturday - 11:00 - 6:00
Sunday - 11:00 - 6:00 & by appointment