Friday, April 11, 2008

The Shoe Tree of Chagrin Falls

You never know what sights you will end up seeing while out on a bike ride, and sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. You would expect to see something like this near a college campus, but I came across this in a quiet neighborhood on Savage Rd in Bainbridge, just outside of Chagrin Falls:

Every manner of shoe was represented, from sneakers, sandals, hiking boots, golf spikes, even a pair of ski boots.

What I wonder is what is the story behind this roadside curiosity? Is it a neighborhood tradition, or a school prank that is grudgingly tolerated by the local residents?

If you live in that neighborhood and know the deal, drop me a note and fill us in!


  1. Do you know if there was any size 11?

  2. My children and I read a book years ago, called "The Shoe Tree of Chagrin" by J. Patrick Lewis. It is the folktale of an elderly cobbler who comes to Chagrin Falls to make shoes "that last a lifetime." After she takes the orders, she leaves town, and the villagers begin to worry that they will never get the shoes or see their money again. They never do see her again, but they find a note directing them to a tree just outside of town, and when they find it, it is hung with all kinds of shoes for everyone.

    The funny thing is that two reviews on Amazon say that there is a note in the book that such a tree really exists, but the reviewers are fairly certain, it doesn't. Hmmm.

    I just saw it for the first time yesterday. I don't know how long it has been in existence though.

  3. Ruth, as I was first reading your comment, I was thinking, "Wow, this woman has an amazing gift for spinning BS." But, I went to, and sure enough, the book you mention is the real deal. Here it is for anyone interested:

  4. I just read an article in the Chagrin Valley Times (7/24/08)that the "shoe tree of Savage Road" will come down next month due to a road widening project. How sad.

  5. those ski boots are mine. ahaha. and yes, the shoe tree was cut down. it was the second one. i believe theyre gonna start a third. our ski boots have been up since the beginning of the second tree. its sad that it had to come down.

  6. The shoe tree is on Savage Road sporting everything including roller skates on top! 6-12-13