Stone Hats and a Shoe Tree

shoe tree

A tree displaying shoes in Nevada gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘shoe tree’ (a device for preserving the shape of the shoe).  These instruments are also made from wood – but there the similarity ends.  What intrigues me about all these shoes is how they have managed to display them all, securing them into what looks like a very tall tree.  Were they all done by the same person or individuals?  Are there any pairs of shoes in there – or are they all odd?

odd or paired?

It’s strange to think of all these shoes baking away in Nevada in the summer and frozen in the winter,  though no stranger than the shoes or other objects preserved by water at famous prophetess Mother Shipton ‘s petrifying well in Knaresborough Yorkshire

the Hanging Well

This is one of England’s  oldest visiting attraction (1630). The magical qualities of the water preserve by petrification the objects (including shoes) which are displayed.

Mother Shipton (Ursula Southill) herself was said to have been born in a nearby cave and prophesied many happenings.  Her prophesies took the form of poems, but there is still some debate about her authorship.

Mother Shipton's cave, said to be her birthplace

 The Hanging well (as it is known locally) still displays two petrified hats – a bonnet and a top hat which were left by a couple on their way to York races in 1854.  I have visited Knaresborough a few times.  It is a delightful and picturesque historical market town and dates from around Norman times.  Among the attractions is The House in the Rock (which we went into many years ago).  Next door to that is a chapel that dates from the Middle ages also set into the rock.  I have photographs, of the hanging well, Mother Shipton’s cave and from inside House in the Rock.  I shall do another post about House in the Rock when I find my pictures 🙂

Info from here

images from here   and here  and also here   Mother Shpton’s own website  Thanks also to this site  for the shoe tree images

14 thoughts on “Stone Hats and a Shoe Tree

    1. Hhehe it’s so near you as well! Don’t know what the nightlife is like though, rather quiet if I remember right, though it’s been a while since I last went. Hope you manage to go though – lovely place 🙂

    1. It’s typical that now I’ve done a post on this – I now find this information:-
      A shoe tree starts with one dreamer, tossing his or her footwear-of-old high into the sky, to catch on an out-of-reach branch. It usually end there, unseen and neglected by others. But on rare occasions, that first pair of shoes triggers a shoe tossing cascade…….

      But look at this!
      Yes! Someone cut it down on New Years eve 😦
      Glad the post interested you as much as me bendedspoon 🙂

  1. Interesting post! I love the shoe tree! The shapes created by the shoe actually make this quite believable. I wonder of shoes fall off, from time to time, like apples. The petrified well photo also gifts some beauty, almost golden in appearance. I had not heard of any of these. Thanks, Lynda!

  2. I saw the one in England featured on a TV show once. The items were quite creepy in a way. On the shoe tree – any stilettos???
    Another interesting post, Lynda.

    1. Yes they’re kind of frozen in time – a touch of the old Gorgon stare lol
      They all looked to be lace ups and sneakers on the tree to me – but you never know 🙂 A rather odd phenomenon is the odd shoe thrown out of cars that you see sometimes in the road. Wonder how that happens?

  3. Fun post! My undergraduate school, Murray State University has a shoe tree going for over twenty five years now. It, however, was not as dramatic as your example looked. Love the pictures of the Hanging Well!

  4. I don’t know about the shoe tree you’ve blogged but in some urban areas shoes tossed into trees and/over wires in public places are to commerate the deaths of certain young people.
    I wonder it that has any application for the tree in Nevada–what is it located near?

    1. I didn’t know that 47whitebuffalo about the commemoration. This is some info about the Nevada one;-
      On Highway 50 near Middlegate, Nevada, a lone cottonwood stood, clotted with hundreds of shoes. One tipster told us the first pair was thrown during a wedding night argument by a young couple; later, their children’s shoes were added to the bough. Whatever its origins, the tree seemed to suck up all the discarded footwear in the county. Sadly, the tree was cut down by vandals on New Year’s Eve, 2010-2011.

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