By Richard I. Gibson
High platform shoes called chopines were popular in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were intended to increase women’s stature, like high heels, and to protect rich ladies from the mud of the streets. They were probably introduced from China to Europe via Venice in the late 1400s.
|showing the platforms|
|detail of sole|
We believe that Sam was an older nephew of Dr. Huie Pock of Butte; Dr.Pock died in 1927, the same year Sam is first listed in the city directory. Despite this late listing, Sam and his family were in Butte at least as early as 1907. Sam and Lily had 13 children, at least 11 born in Butte, and at least two of whom (Arthur and Katie) worked in the restaurant as waiter and waitress in 1927-28, alongside Quong Huie, Huie Pock’s son. Arthur, Katie, and Quong were all listed as residing at 639 Utah Street, which was Dr. Pock’s home and office until he died.
|Sam Huie's restaurant, 251 East Park Street|
(center of one-story building at left)
The finely embroidered shoes have a decorated wooden sole with inlaid colored fabric and braided twine.
Resources: City Directories, census records, information from Tina Huie; background on chopines from various online sources. Photo of Sam Huie’s restaurant at 251 East Park from Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, building inventory c. 1950s. Modern photos by Richard I. Gibson.