The Legend of the Hillsdale Shoe Tree
This particular shoe tree has been referred to as the Hillsdale Shoe Tree and the Jonesville Shoe Tree. It's found at the countryside dirt road intersection of Ball Road and Half Moon Lake Road, 3 ½ miles southeast of Jonesville and 4 miles northeast of Hillsdale.
The tree in question is on the northeast corner of the crossroads. It's a full, beautiful tree that makes it a little difficult to see the shoes that hang from the branches during summertime.
So what's the story of this particular shoe tree?
Let's start with the legend. It says that the shoes are what's left of runners from the Hillsdale College Cross Country team. Those poor unfortunate runners all met their demise as they ran through the country, attacked and killed by wild beasts. The students were ripped apart by bears, bigfoot, cougars, coyotes, wolves, and other unnamed wild creatures & monsters. Nothing remained but their shoes, which were thrown into the tree by surviving team mates.
Now, this is what the senior members of the team tell the freshmen, so take it with a grain of salt. What they say really happens is this: after every season, they run three miles to the tree specifically to throw their used running shoes up into the branches.
So if you visit, feel free to keep the story alive and tell whoever accompanies you the first version. Tell them before you arrive.
HILLSDALE SHOE TREE LOCATION
MORE QUIRKY MICHIGAN STUFF: