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'Shoe Trees' in Orleans County are a shrine to forgotten footwear

At the corner of Foss & Lakeshore Roads
Posted: 2:26 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-10 08:27:06-04

YATES, NY (WKBW-TV) — It's not the 'middle of nowhere' but it looks like it. In this otherwise unoccupied, quiet crossroads there are four trees furnished in discarded footwear. The locals have dubbed this strange shrine "The Shoe Trees".

Tom Rivers the editor of the Orleans Hub says Earl Baun started the shoe thing in 1986. "Earl decided to clean out the closet and he threw the first eight or ten pairs of shoes up there." Tom says people have been adding to the collection ever since.

The trees at the corner of Foss and Lakeshore Roads, in the town of Yates, outside the village of Lyndonville, are now covered with hundreds of pairs of shoes, sneakers, boots. Some have been thrown into the trees and some of them have been nailed on.

The trees have become a tradition around here according to Tom, and maybe in some small way an unofficial tourist destination.

Tom says "What I like about it, it's of the people. We have never hired a consultant or a tourism professional to create an attraction-it just happened."