Replacing a horseshoe typically is a low-key situation that involves just a horse owner and farrier. In one Ohio town, though, it’s a community event.
A construction crew reset the large 130-year-old horseshoe in a small concrete pad near a Medina, Ohio, gas station at East Smith Road and South Court Street, the Medina Sun reported Monday, May 6, 2019.
The shoe has been in a sidewalk on East Smith Road since the 1880s when local blacksmith Jabez “Jabe” Holben placed it there to mark the location of his shop. Despite the long ago closing of the blacksmith shop and no marker indicates the shoe’s history, there was quite an outpouring from locals wondering whether the shoe was saved.
“Somebody, somewhere on social media kind of surmised it was gone,” Patrick Patton, Medina’s city engineer, told the Medina Sun. “And that led to a lot of confusion when it wasn’t. We had saved it.”
The missing shoe took on a life of its own in late August 2018 when the City Council was met with several citizens who wanted to know where it was and what the plans were for it.
City officials announced that they had the shoe and planned to return the shoe to its original location. The city was true to its word, replacing the shoe, but to the side of the sidewalk in a small concrete pad.
“It’s a piece of living history,” says Don Williams, one of the citizens who inquired about the shoe with the city. “It should be out there still being what it has always been — a confusing, giant horseshoe.”
Over the previous 9 months, residents have not let the city forget about its promise to return the shoe.
“We do get asked about it frequently,” Patton says. “So it will be nice to say it’s done.”