Friday, September 7, 2012



I've finally seen the Shoe House!!!
When: August 3rd, 2012

Where: Hellam, Pennsylvania - Haines Shoe House

Shoe house basement where you can enjoy Hershey's Ice Cream

Cost: $4.50/adult and free for kids under 3

Located in the middle of a corn field 

Why this is on my list: I found this years ago whilst doing travel research online. Actually, when I initially put it on my list you could stay the night there, later when I heard that that was no longer an option I removed it from my list. I still wanted to see that silly shoe house so I put it back on!

Shoe House Dog House
Something I would recommend? Surely! If you're in the area or near it....I would not recommend making a special trip especially since the town was very small and there was not much there.

Not a real dog-cute touch
Would I do it again? Doubtful, I think this is a once is enough life list item.

It wasn't very big but it actually was 4 levels

What would I do differently? Nothing, I got all that I could out of this.

View from the other side

Was it life changing? It was very exciting for me to finally see it after so many years and so many times I planned on seeing it while driving through Pennsylvania but it was always out of the way enough that I always decided in the end that making better time on the drive to or fro was more important. It is such a good feeling to accomplish goals but ultimately no I can't definitively say that this changed my life.

Even the fence had little shoes on it

Overall impression: I wanted to have several points of interest planned for our drive home from Philadelphia so that our daughter would have an opportunity to stretch her legs and this was about and hour and a half from the hotel towards home so it was perfect! We arrived right when they opened-the owner, wife and granddaughter had just arrived themselves. They were nice...a little odd...I guess that shouldn't come as a shocker that the people who would buy and live in a house shaped like a shoe are a bit cooky. I described them this way because they were trying to be formal and professional-it was not a personalized tour-it was very scripted/lacked charisma-this is a place that calls for a little spunk. And they would not allow photos inside-don't know why-I even asked if I could just take a picture of the stained glass window in the front door and they said 'no photos inside', that kind of rubbed me the wrong way I have to admit. The other thing I didn't like was that the house, which the couple spends much of their days and nights in, is filled with probably 2,000 shoe figurines. The house itself is interesting enough-shoe figurines are not interesting at all, so it made it  beyond cheesy. With that being said the interior of the house was incredibly unique, the architecture of the shoe house was really something to see. The curvature of the walls, the bizarre depths of the closets and bathrooms-the tight stairways-I would have loved to show you pictures (I say annoyingly) Though the couple did win me over when they befriended my daughter...that always does the trick! And they were nice and offered to take pictures of the 3 of us and they knew just the right spot outside for good photo ops of the entire house.

Why a house that looks like a shoe? A very rich man named Mahlon Haines had the house built in 1948 as an advertising gimmick. He sold shoes and would invited people from all over to stay at the shoe house for free. When people would stay they were treated like royalty and even had their own butlers. Since then the shoe house has had several different owners. How much does one pay for a shoe house? I don't know...I asked they wouldn't tell me....but I'm dying to know so if you have any further information on the cost please let me know! My guess...$300,000. What do you think the Shoe House would sell for? Not how much you would pay but I'm interested to see what you think the current owners paid!


  1. Sounds like it was good to get the goal done and a fun and enjoyable experience but not something worth making a special trip for. Glad it was good, a bit of a shame about the owners and that they were less than welcoming.

    The guy who built it in the first place sounds quirky and a great character to know. Not knowing house prices in America, i can't put a figure on it. Considering the cost of houses in England, i would put it at £400 000 for UK prices.xx

    1. Good guess, that's probably pretty close! Any cooky building structures in England?


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