The Kinmount, Ontario Shoe Tree was reportedly started in the 1940’s by a gentleman named Bill Boland who retired to Kinmount and built a home there because of his love for the beautiful, unspoiled woods and terrain. Bill was familiar with an ancient native Indian tradition that said that if you hung a pair of moccasins on a sacred tree it would bring you good luck. Bill started his own shoe tree on a white pine near the front of his property with one pair of shoes. Soon thereafter other pairs of shoes began to find their way onto Bill’s tree.
Many years and pairs of shoes later Bill’s shoe tree drew the ire of a neighbor who saw it as an eyesore. Because it was something of a local landmark the police refused to do anything. The complainant was infuriated and decided to do something about it herself. She was found one day with a ladder throwing shoes down from the tree. Bill Boland who by now was elderly and quite ill called on friends to help.
Shortly thereafter the shoes thrown from the tree seemed to have sprouted on a new tree a short way down the road. Unfortunately soon after that tree mysteriously burned to the ground. The legend of the Kinmount Shoe Tree however is not over as other shoe trees have sprouted around town with legend saying that the wind carried the laces from the old shoe trees to the new ones.
If you know of a shoe tree with a good legend, let me know. There is a reason I keep posting these stories and I’ll reveal that soon enough.