E.L.M. Shoes was formed originally as a result of one man’s attempt to survive a crisis. After losing a contract to bus school children in 1930, J. Ira Eshleman and his son-in-laws David Lehman and Norman Martin placed his buses in operation as “stores on wheels”. Later they acquired this building known at that time as the D. F. Ryder building in Greencastle, Pennsylvania and opened a retail establishment in February, 1941. The business included groceries, hardware, dry goods, clothing and a tailor. In 1957 the dream of having a separate “shoe department” was formed by Norman’s oldest son Lester Martin. With a focus on growth for the future, Lester and his sons Lowell and Loren renovated this building in 1983. This expansion allowed them to carry a complete line of men’s, women’s, and children’s footwear. As a result of another expansion and renovation in 1997, E.L.M. Shoes now occupies over 6,000 sq. feet of floor space and warehouses an impressive 20,000 pair of shoes. The company is now a fourth generation family-owned business that is operated by Loren Martin.

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