Horseshoes adorn wall of local office

Star Staff Writer
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The horse shoe collection of Shannon Holmen wasn’t planned. She will tell you it grew by accident.

The nurse for Dr. T.F. Beeson, who has his office as part of Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, brought her own horse shoe to work and hung it on the wall at the old Garberson Clinic. The surgeon she worked for, Dr. J.R. Grierson, was asked if he would bring in a shoe from one of his Clydesdales so patients would see the difference.

Soon after, she said, patients also wanted their shoes hung on the wall.

“Initially, we just hammered them into the wall,” Holmen said. “When we moved over here (Holy Rosary Healthcare), we thought it would look a little more classy if they were mounted on boards.”

Dr. Grierson brought boards cut from trees on his land. But the horse shoe count continued to grow.

“I eventually used all those and had to buy more boards after he retired,” Holmen said. “People still ask if they can bring in theirs, but we have kind of run out of room in the waiting room, so I had to stop collecting.”

There’s quite a variety of horse shoes in the collection, which numbers 225 and fills the waiting room.

“The brands are very interesting and patients love looking at them and finding someone they know,” Holmen said of the donors, whose names are under each shoe.

It’s also proven to be quite a learning experience.

“I’ve learned a lot about shoes and I have one board above our check-in window that is full of my favorites,” Holmen said. “Of course, my favorite is my grandfather’s, which is hand-forged.”

Other parts of the collection are a pair of ox shoes with a wrench to tighten the corks; corrective orthopedic shoes; ice shoes; working shoes; and pony and miniature shoes.

Holmen also has a set from the Great American Cattle Drive and the Lonesome Drovers of ’95. She has a factory display of how they are made.

“All have been donated by our patients,” she said. “It’s amazing how different they all are.”

Each shoe from a rancher surrounds the branding design of their business. The brands also draw considerable interest.

“Out-of-state folks sure get a kick out of looking at the shoes and trying to read the brands,” Holmen said. “We love to show off the collection.”
(Contact Abe Winter at or 406-234-0450.)