Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 19, 2014

Shoe sensation

Ashland woman donating footwear collection to Highlands Museum and Discovery Center

ASHLAND — People often say a girl can never have enough shoes. For Agatha Weinfurtner, that statement could not hold more truth.

The devout Catholic woman, who turned 98 on Sunday, has collected miniature shoes for 40 years, accumulating more than 300 figurines.

 Every February, like clockwork for the past 10 years, Weinfurtner has taken out her shoes to display them in her house.

“My four boys make fun of me, but this is my fun and they can do whatever they want,” she said.

After her birthday on June 15 they go back into their boxes, but this year, for her birthday, she has decided to donate her collection of miniature shoes to the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center.

“It’s getting harder to clean them all,” she said. “It just feels right.”

According to Heather Akers, a curator at the museum, they had the shoes on display at the museum for a couple months last year and many individuals, both young and old, showed interest in them.

“I believe they will be a great fit for the museum,” she said.

Anyone and everybody has been adding to Weinfurtner’s collection over the years, and it gives her a warm feeling to know people have thought of her. She has also added a few shoes to the collection herself, the most expensive being $10.

“I paid $10 for one, but I broke it trying to be too careful,” she said.

Over the years she has accumulated a variety of shoe figurines including some that double as push pins, ring holders, trinket boxes and card holders, even pillows. The shoes were also made from a variety of material including, wood, glass, yarn, plastic and ceramic.

There were also many different styles of shoes represented from modern day pumps to western era boots.

“I really like the old-fashioned ones,” Weinfurtner said.

Some of the shoes even resemble different holidays like Halloween and, her favorite, Christmas.

Along with shoes going to the museum, there was also a shoe wallet, calender and pictures.

“I’m going to miss them,” Weinfurtner said. “I will cry tomorrow when I start cleaning my dining room.”

Weinfurtner does not remember the first shoe that started her collection, but said she probably saw some she liked and bought them.

When asked if any of the shoes meant more to her then others, she said, “no,” without any hesitation.

“I love all of them, people thought of me to give them to me,” Weinfurtner said.

Akers said the museum hopes to have the miniature shoe collection on display in the near future.

MARY ALFORD can be reached at malford@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2657.

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