The Legend of the Lost Soles in New York’s Famous Shoe Trees
Have you heard the legend of the lost soles in New York's famous shoes trees?
There's a tiny village on Lake Ontario that may have more shoes than people. Lyndonville, New York is home to the famous Shoe Trees - 4 trees filled with all kinds of different shoes.
The Lyndonville Shoe Trees have a variety of legends depending on who you ask. The most popular is throwing shoes into the tree and making a wish.
Rumor has it the tradition began in 1986 when Diane Bane cleaned out a closet and convinced her boyfriend at the time to find a tree they could throw them in. "Apparently after they tossed nine of her own pairs, Bane went around the neighborhood asking if anyone would donate shoes so she could toss them up in the tree as well," says Chris Clemens of Exploring Upstate.
The story was a mystery for awhile, says Clemons, because a local conservation officer wanted to arrest the person responsible and charge them with littering. However, the shoes kept coming and the community began to support the Shoe Trees.
Legend says you tie the laces together, make a wish, and toss your shoes up in the tree. If they catch a branch, your wish will come true. If you want to give it a try, the four trees are located where Foss Road meets Lake Shore Road in Lyndonville, about 3 hours from Utica. You'll see hundreds of shoes hanging from branches and the ones without laces are nailed to the tree trunks.
Good luck and happy shoe tossing.
[HT/] Exploring Upstate