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Big Bear Lake, California: Shoe Tree Unloved by the Elderly (Gone)

This tree fights a continuing battle with local seniors who often de-shoe it in an effort to "save" it.

On Hwy 18, near Baldwin Dry Lake, one mile from Big Bear Lake.
July 2018: Reported gone.

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Shoe Tree

The Big Bear Shoe Tree has a colorful history. It is also known as "The Old Hanging Tree," and was used many times for prospectors who jumped gold claims in the Holcomb Valley by Big Bear Lake. In fact, the lake itself was dammed by residents who remained after the gold strike of the early 1900s for energy so they could sieve water and gravel easily in the continuing hunt for gold. We still hear of people finding nuggets every spring in the area after the winter rain runoff.

Local Big Bear seniors keep de-shoeing the tree so that it retains that historical ghostly presence as a Hanging Tree.

[Diane Grooms, 08/31/2006]

Shoe Tree.

Shoe Tree

This Shoe Tree is along Route 38 on the north side of Big Bear Lake.

[Paul D. DeRocco, 01/26/2006]

April 2006 - Unshod in 2006 according to Erin: "I hate to say that they took all the shoes out of this tree."

Shoe Tree

There is a formidable shoe tree just outside of Big Bear City, on Hwy 18, near Baldwin Lake. A few years back, Calif Fish and Game (who own the property the tree sits on) had the tree cleared because they thought the tree was being harmed. The Sierra Club emptied the tree of it's harvest, and the citizens were saddened and angry. Within a week, the tree had new blooms. More colorful and fruitful than ever. That is how it remains.

[Ellen Stohr, 04/28/2005]

Shoe Tree survives 2003 fire.

Shoe Tree

The Shoe Tree survived the fires of 2003, and despite efforts to clear it, continues to sprout new shoes as old ones are removed.

[Dan, 05/30/2004]
Shoe Tree

The Shoe Tree of Big Bear is on Highway 18, near Baldwin Dry Lake, just 1 mile from Big Bear Lake. While the local seniors try to "undecorate" the tree (to prevent it from dying from all the weight, they say), shoe tossers manage to have enough on outlying branches to prevent total removal. And each spring, new shoes blossom.

[dvgrooms, 01/11/2004]

We wonder if this Shoe Tree, among other shoe trees in the region, survived California's 2003 fires....

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