Essex National Heritage Area
Daniel Hunkins Shoe Shop
This shoe shop was built in 1859 by shoemaker and farmer Daniel A. Hunkins, who came to Haverhill from southern NH to work in the shoe industry. This style shop is called a “10-Footer” because most were built to the dimensions of 10 feet by 10 feet.
Shoe making remained a cottage industry in Haverhill until the mid-1800s. Shoe shops similar to this one dotted the countryside of Haverhill, Bradford, and the rest of Essex County.
With the invention of stitching and sewing machines, more shoes were produced in factories. This coincided with the influx of large numbers of Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans and other immigrant groups.
Haverhill was the third largest producer of shoes in the nation behind Philadelphia and Lynn. It produced such a fine quality of women’s shoes that it gained the nickname “The Queen Slipper City”.
Visit the museum and experience it for yourself.