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Would You Live in a House Like This?

Shoe House

This is where marketing meets dwelling in the Pennsylvania countryside.


The structure — a single, two-story “shoe” with a door, windows, stairs and a small porch — is the brainchild of shoe-store magnate Mahlon N. Haines. He once had more than 40 retail outlets in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.



Built in 1948 on a wood frame draped with wire and finished with cement stucco, the 48-foot-long house is in Hellam, Pa., about 30 miles southeast of Harrisburg. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen, and it was originally intended to advertise Haines’ shoes. It was used as a house in the late 1950s and 1980s.



“My husband and I also do stay there, although it (is) not our primary residence,” says Carleen Farabaugh, who has co-owned the Shoe House with her husband, Ronald, since 2003. “I always refer to it as our summer home.”

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