Vandals cut down Shoe Tree in Nevada

The famous (and world’s largest) Shoe Tree along the Lincoln Highway at Middlegate, Nevada, was cut down overnight last Thursday. The 70-foot cottonwood towered over U.S. 50 about 125 miles east of Reno. A gallery of photos such as the ones here can be found on Flickr.

According to the Lahontan Valley News, there are no suspects or motives:

There are a lot of angry people,” said Middlegate bartender Travis Anderton, describing the reaction from his customers. “That (the tree) helps out business. People come out to see the Shoe Tree.”… Anderton’s grandmother, Fredda Stevenson, is planning a memorial at the site of the tree on Feb. 13 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The destruction of the Shoe Tree bothers Stevenson, who bought the Middlegate Bar and Restaurant 26 years ago. “I watched it grow up as a little tree,” said Stevenson, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years.

“We cried. It’s like losing a member of the family,” she said.

Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, is another person who is outraged and hopes authorities can tie the loose ends together in finding the culprit or culprits.

“It was a quirky landmark on the Loneliest Road in America,” he said.

Click HERE for a page full of fond recollections. Note that comments on one of the news stories also included this viewpoint:

“That used to be a beautiful shade tree in the middle of the desert. It has since become an eyesore with all those stinky shoes hanging in it. An Historical landmark? Give me a break!… Good riddance to an ugly dead tree.”

Thanks to Loungelistener and Denny Gibson for the tip.

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4 Responses to “Vandals cut down Shoe Tree in Nevada”

  1. Silver Fox Says:

    Thanks for thre post!

    I don’t know what news story that last comment was on, but the tree wasn’t by any means dead. It’s merely winter, so all the leaves had fallen.

  2. RoadDog Says:

    I was hoping to see it at this year’s LHA meeting in Nevada. Oh, well.

  3. Sean Says:

    Very sad news. As Australians, visiting your beautiful country I had traveled Highway 50 along with my wife and daughters on a trip in 2010 where we took some iconic photos. What an act of bastardry!

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