While this isn’t about any particular shoe, I thought it was curious enough to warrant a “Weird Shoe Wednesday” post.

There’s a tree in Middlegate, Nevada on US Highway 50 that has somehow come to accumulate hundreds–if not thousands–of pairs of shoes on its branches and even on the floor, enough for it to be named The Shoe Tree. Of course, the shoes come from tourists and passers-by who contribute their own shoes to the monument. But just how it all started is a mystery.

Local legends vary but the two most popular stories both involve an argument between a married couple. In one scenario, a newlywed couple returning from Reno got in an argument during which the husband throws his wife’s shoes onto the tree. After a short time, they make up but the wife insists then that he throw his shoes too as a sign of unity.

In the other popular story, a newlywed couple gets into a spat, leading to the husband ditching the wife at the tree to have a drink at the local pub. When he returns, she throws his shoes onto the tree.

A popular variation of the second story sees the newlywed couple returning to the tree years later. After they had a baby together, they added a pair of baby booties to the tree. And those adorable booties are apparently what inspired so many others to add to the shoe tree.

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