updated 08/28/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 08/28/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Considered one of the nation's finest examples of roadside architecture, the house—which is located off Route 30 just east of York and is on the National Register of Historic Places—was built as an advertising gimmick in 1948 by Mahlon Haines, a local shoe-store entrepreneur. For the first two years, Haines invited newlyweds to stay there for free; later, an orthodontist purchased the shoe and converted it into an ice-cream parlor. By 1987 the site was in disrepair; Haines's granddaughter then bought it for $69,000, restored it and unsuccessfully tried to sell it for $169,000. In February, Miller—partly motivated by civic pride—struck a deal after the bank foreclosed on the house. "I heard there were several out-of-town buyers who wanted to move the house to another state," says Miller. "Well, I thought, 'This is a historic place. I don't care who wants it. They ain't gettin' it.' " But Miller, who currently lives in a stone ranch-style house with her husband, Bud, 64, a retired trucker (son Timothy, 36, a machinist and drag racer, lives nearby), has no intentions of actually moving in. Busy polishing the shoe with new paint—faux laces and a dark brown sole are in the works—she is turning the site into a tourist attraction, complete with antiques and souvenirs for sale inside and fast food outside. And if that doesn't work out? "I'll buy and sell anything. The only thing I won't ever change is my husband," she says. Clearly, the guy's no heel.