"Shoe Tree" attracts people from across the country - WDRB 41 Louisville News

"Shoe Tree" attracts people from across the country

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MILLTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) --Deep in Crawford County, past the corn fields, and on roads where cars aren't the only mode of transportation, there's an intersection back in the woods. If you don't look up, you could miss what people there say has become a Southern Indiana attraction.

"There's a lot of people who stop here," Crawford County resident, Theresa Faith said.

It's all for something called "Shoe Tree."

"Oh, I get a kick out of it. People are just amazed with it ya know?" Faith said.

As its name suggests, hundreds of pairs of shoes hang from branch after branch. Anything from Flip Flops to pig slippers to tennis shoes hang in the tree.

"Reeboks, Nikes, there's a major shoe store right there," local, Gary Faith said.

Maybe they're old, maybe they're ugly, maybe they don't fit, whatever the reason a lot of people have decided driving to the country and tossing them into the tree is the only way to get rid of them. It's kind of the way it all got started.

"My cousin Dave Shotter from years and years ago was wading through the creeks, and they got their shoes all wet, and they didn't want to go back in the house. So, they just threw their shoes up in the tree," Theresa Faith explained.

The original "Shoe Tree" was struck by lightning some years ago. There are even rumors that someone tried to cut it down, but it didn't stop people from bringing out their shoes to keep the tradition going in a different tree.

Rumor has it, three time NBA champion, and Hoosier native Larry Bird threw his size 13 shoes in the tree years ago. It's made people in Crawford County wonder if they could still be up there somewhere.

"If they are,they'd be the biggest pair." Gary Faith joked.

Either way, it's a fun, kind of strange piece of Crawford County tradition that the locals hope will hang around.

"I'd like to see it go forever," Theresa Faith said.

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