The Haines Shoe House in York, Pennsylvania, is a standout — a true one-of-a-kind roadside attraction visible from nearby Route 30.
Visitors are awestruck by The Haines Shoe House, which is, well, actually a house.
“It really has an interesting history,” said Jeff Schmuck, the house’s owner.
The three-room, two-bathroom house with five levels inside was completed in 1949. It was built for Mahlon Haines, who owned the successful Haines Shoe Company.
“He was pretty well known for doing zany things to promote the shoe business,” Schmuck said. “His intention with it was never to actually live in it but to use it as a way to give back to the community.”
Initially Haines invited elderly couples to stay in the house, all expenses paid, for up to a week at a time. Then he started inviting newlyweds to spend their honeymoons there running contests in his various stores to give away the trips.
Eventually the house became vacant and fell into despair. Schmuck and his late-wife Melanie bought the house in 2015, spruced it up and offered guided tours.
“It’s a popular stop with groups,” Schmuck said. “Most people gravitate toward the kitchen. We have it set up with items that were found in kitchens in the ‘50s so that’s really popular. I personally like the honeymoon suite, which is in the toe.”
Tours last 20 to 25 minutes. Visitors can also purchase locally made Beck’s ice cream at the ice cream parlor.
The Haines Shoe House is open from the first day of spring through Halloween. In the spring and fall, it is open Friday through Sunday. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day it is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Groups of 15 or more receive a discount on admission. Admission for the group leader and motorcoach driver is comped.
Although there’s no designated motorcoach parking, Schmuck said he can accommodate coaches at the site’s entrance.
For more information on The Haines Shoe House call 717-683-6328 or go to hainesshoehouse.com.
Article by Kathie Sutin