I was on a gravel run yesterday heading to Alton where the next stone festival will be held. Just outside the town limits I ran across the shoe trees. I knew there had to be a story behind it so stopped at the place next to the wooded area.
Apparently about 40 years ago a man found a single shoe and fastened it to a tree where it could be readily seen and claimed.
Someone else, not realizing the intent, fastened another shoe on the same tree as a joke. This opened a whole can of worms and soon everyone nailed up a shoe from a pair that was being discarded. The tradition continues to this day. Over the 40 years the originals have obviously rotted away but are constantly being replaced with new ones. The single tree has expanded to a clump and goes on and on and on!