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A Really Big Shoe: 1905

Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1905. "Chateau-Alfonse and Old Shoe, Luna Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1905. "Chateau-Alfonse and Old Shoe, Luna Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Shoot the Shoe

According to this article in the Pittsburgh Press of May 7, 1905, the "Shoot the Shoe" was new that spring. Patrons were met at the top by the old woman that lived in a shoe, and as the fable goes, had so many kids that she didn't know what to do, so she would sweep them down the shoot.


The shoe and Chateau Alphonse are nice, but what is the cave/tunnel thing between them with the 212 above the entrance?

Family Fun

Evidently the chateau sold refreshments, and the shoe (as in: There was an old woman) had murals that reflected nursery rhymes. Cleveland's Luna Park.

Shoe Slide

Seems to me the shoe is a ride. The booth next to the shoe is selling tickets for a penny. I'm thinking the entrance is just past the booth under the heel where one would climb up stairs to enjoy the scenic view from the top of the shoe and then slide down the tongue and exit out the open-toe. People seemed to be easily entertained back then.

Slip 'n slide

The Big Shoe was a giant slide with twin chutes winding down from the little house at the summit. The interior probably contained nothing more than a staircase.

If you look at the lounging attendant at right you can see what appears to be a pile of mats in front of him likely used for sliding down the chutes. (When I was a kid, we went to a Fun House in San Francisco that had a similar slide where we rode gunny sacks.)

The Really Big Shoe

The sign on the ticket house says 1 cent- Sli(de).

The little tots probably give a ticket to the man in the chair then climb up through the toe hole nearsted to him.

From the little wall behind him I assume the slide exit is probably the other hole. 1 cent for a slide-weeeeee!

When I blow the photo up real big it looks like the shoe is made of painted canvas stretched over a frame made of bent pipes. Quite tricky really.

Watch the Splinters!

Looks like two wooden slides coming down either side of the shoe. It had to be a labor intensive structure to build, but a very nice piece of work.


This photograph really gives me a hankerin' for orangeade.

There used to always be an orangeade stand at the Ohio State Fair that was run by some friends of mine, and they'd give us free drinks. Now as an adult I go there every year and miss the orangeade.

1 cent

to ride the slide! Let's go!

Long gone

Dried Up

Apparently, this was one of a chain of amusement parks built by Frederick Ingersoll, who died in 1929. Its main attraction, a trolley park that served beer, fell victim to Prohibition, and once that closed, its popularity waned. A series of fires in the 1930s claimed a number of the other attractions, rides were eventually dismantled and moved elsewhere, and the last building (the skating rink) was destroyed by fire in 1940. The Woodhill Homes development sits on the actual site of the amusement park but there is a greenspace called Luna Park nearby.

Trivia from the above link: "Entertainer Bob Hope spent much of his youth at Luna Park. He would often sneak into company picnics and try to win prizes in events such as sack races"


That employee seated on the right appears to be playing his Nintendo DS game. At least that's the way my kids slouch when engaged in that activity.

Still there?

I live near Cleveland and I wonder if that is still there? I have never heard of this place before.

Sounds like Ed Sullivan

The title reminds me of the Ed Sullivan show. Shows my age. I wonder what was inside this shoe? Maybe it was a play area for the kids?

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