Amherst Shoe Tree Questions Answered
Ask and you shall receive....most of the time. This time it worked. We received a reply to the appeal for information on the Amherst Shoe Tree from none other than the owner of the property himself. Randy Thompson replied on Facebook that he purchased the property on Transit Road from his mother about 20 years ago and provided some of the history of the story.
Randy said the idea for the Shoe Tree came when his parents were traveling thru Pennsylvania and got the idea to start one of their own using the shoes of their children and grandchildren...and there's a lot of them. Randy says he's the youngest of eight children, who in turn produced 24 children of their own.
Randy says he guesses the first shoes went on to the tree about 30 years ago. Many of them have fallen off over the years due to rot or rusted out nails. He says some years ago his youngest son was looking for a missing boot that he couldn't find. He looked for weeks until they decided that lone boot should go up on the tree. So they got a nail and a hammer and walked out to the tree and when they got there, sure enough there was the other boot nailed to the tree by mistake. He had a pair again.
Randy also told the story of a power company crew working to clear branches away from electric lines. They asked for permission to cut some of the branches on the Shoe Tree, but promised they would put any shoes they cut down back on the tree.
Many people have taken pictures of the tree over the years, but drive off never knowing the story behind it. When he gives directions to his house to friends they always say "the Shoe Tree house?"