Viva Cuba looks to Cuba, Missouri’s history when choosing subjects for murals.The corner where Hayes Shoe Store sets has such a history.
At one time a general merchandise store called Prosperity Corner sat there. H.H. Tieman, who has a story of his own, owned the store, which later burned.When Viva Cuba saw the photo below, the spark was lit to have a mural on the building that sat in the same place in modern Cuba—Hayes Shoe Store.
The group approached Jeff Bouse who owned the shoe store, and he gave permission to have a mural painted on all the exposed surfaces of his building. Chillicothe artist Kelly Pohling was hired to paint the mural.He spent long, hot days one summer painting the mural.The results are below.Inside the store, you can see the original photo that inspired Viva Cuba.You can also see shoes that belonged to Robert Wadlow, “the giant of Alton.”And you can buy some good shoes fitted by Bouse or his staff.
If you are lucky, you might meet Henry or Audrey Hayes, who opened the store in the 1950s and raised their son and daughter while running the family enterprise.Mrs. Hayes still works part-time in the store, and she is quite a lady.The Hayes also built the colorful Brazilian tile building next to the shoe store.Until recently, that building was the home of the Route 66 Café, which has closed its doors.
And as for the story of H.H. Tieman, that’s for another blog.