History of the Shop

Family Shoe's Business License, 1975

On November 15, 1973 John and SueAnn Lager moved from Seattle, Washington to Juneau, Alaska. They found work at Warren’s Shoes in the Simpson Building at 201 Seward street, the corner of 2nd Street and Seward (now Zephyr restaurant), which closed in the early 1980’s. John started fixing shoes at 50% commission, and SueAnn worked in the retail section earning 30% commission. Eventually Warren’s wanted SueAnn to repair shoes as well, but weren’t going to up the commission rate to match John’s. After about a year learning the trade at Warren’s the shoe repair shop just down the street came up for sale. They jumped on the opportunity and decided to strike out on their own. They purchased Family Shoe Repair from Ervin Hieber in early 1975 and moved from their rental home on Dixon Street into the back of the shop.

Family Shoe Repair had been in the same location since at least the mid 1960’s. Throughout the years John found many items that suggest the shop may have been around for much longer, including a 300 year old shoe repair hammer.

Family Shoe's first dollar

Paul Ulrich petitioned John to give them their first dollar. He was a World War II veteran who lost both legs at the knee during the war. With the aid of two canes, he walked on two wooden legs attached with leather “tubes”. With their first dollar (and a few more) he custom ordered leather laces to run from the leg attachments to a belt.

In October of 2004 John moved the shop from its location of 25+ years to his home on Highland Drive. Now enjoying the semi-retired life, he accepts new jobs by appointment and can be reached at (907) 586-8999.