Lake County’s Shoe Corner

Of the many traditions and affectations of Northwest Indiana, the Shoe Corner is among the most amusing and harmless.  If you’ve spent any time in Northwest Indiana, then it’s likely you’ve heard of the Shoe Corner.  If not, then here it is…

In the unincorporated land between St. John and Cedar Lake (collectively known as Hanover Township), there’s an intersection.  At this intersection (109th Street and Calumet Avenue), there are discarded shoes.  Always, anytime of the year, for at least forty years, shoes are tossed out at this intersection, sometimes in the shallow ditches, sometimes on the asphalt, sometimes stacked around the stop sign.  Shoes.  And that’s the Shoe Corner.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Not exactly a spooky story. For an urban legend, it’s severely lacking.  There’s no antagonist, no action, no moral, no history.  Just an intersection littered with shoes without rhyme or reason. Northern Indiana has never suffered for a lack of urban legends (Salesian Private School, Diana of the Dunes, etc…), but most sane people don’t believe in ghosts stories, no offense to insane readers.

There’s no agreed-upon origin for the tradition, just that shoes have been seen there for decades.  Many claim to have never seen anyone tossing out or picking up shoes, yet they seem to cycle throughout the year. At some point a reader may run into someone claiming to know the truth behind this eccentric corner.  They are lying or delusional.  Even cultural anthropologists do not know.

In my humble opinion, it’s Northwest Indiana’s version of David S. Pumpkins.  It’s its own thing, man. You either get it or you don’t.

What to Know More? 

A little history of the “Shoe Corner” from the Tribune, and discussion of a future traffic signal.

A collection of ghost stories from across Indiana.  Ghosts might not be real, but that shouldn’t interfere with a good story.