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Shoes are Linked to Lynchburg

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shoes

Vintage shoes from the Craddock Terry Shoe Co. in Lynchburg

Did you know that from the first half of the 19th century and until the late 1980’s shoes and Lynchburg, Virginia were synonymous?

In 1888 the Craddock-Terry Shoe Company was founded by John W. Craddock, A.P. Craddock and T.M. Terry.  This company became the largest and most significant manufacturer in Lynchburg and grew into the 5th largest shoe company in the world.  When the Craddock-Terry Shoe Company opened a plant at the corner of 14th and Jefferson Streets in 1901 it was the first shoe company south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  By the mid-1900’s the company employed over 3,000 workers, in various plants located throughout the city.  In addition to its Lynchburg plants, by 1921 Craddock- Terry had factories in St. Louis, MO. and Milwaukee, WI.

Logo of the Craddock Terry Shoe Company, Lynchburg, VA.

Known for manufacturing a quality, precisely fitted product with careful attention to detail and practicality, by 1941, the Craddock-Terry Corporation was manufacturing 26,000 pairs of shoes and boots each day, most of them for the military.  Combat boots and other military shoes were the biggest sellers.

During the late-1940’s the sale of regular footwear picked up.  It was during this time that Craddock-Terry began to specialize in shoes for babies, children, women and men.  During their peak production capacity they were producing almost 100,000 pairs of shoes each day!

By October 1987, Craddock-Terry was forced to file for bankruptcy, with assets of $44.1 million, liabilities of $49.8 million and over one thousand creditors.

We are lucky enough to own an original pair of Craddock-Terry women’s shoes, probably from the late 1800’s.  We found them in an antique store in Roanoke.  The stamp on the bottom is still clearly visible, the shoelaces are in tact and the condition of the shoes is pristine.  When we close and sell The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we will probably donate them the Craddock-Terry Hotel to be put on display in their lobby.  They were a “true find” that we routinely share with our guests.