Marysville’s Lone Cobbler Passing Torch to Son

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Sacramento is where cobbler Norman Smith spent 35 years, cranking out 16-hour days, before moving up to Marysville.

“We’re the last shop between Sacramento and Chico,” Smith said.

Smith runs Downtown Shoe Repair, at what he considers to be a slower pace. That pace, however, still seems non -stop for the 61-year-old.

“If it’s leather, Norm does it. Everyone that knows leather knows Norm,” one man said.

Smith is a valued friend in the shrinking cobbler trade, which he’s passed on to his son. Smith says there are around 60,000 shoe repair shops in the 90s. Now, that number is around 4,500.

One of Smith’s most regular customers is the Marysville Police Department, whose station is just around the corner.

“As long as there are old, tough guys that can handle getting cut and dirty, we’ll always be here,” he said.

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1 Comment

  • leturrip

    Yikes! Just saw this! Must be a very slow news day! Been there several times and got over charged! Cheaper to drive 40 miles south, than get it done there! Told me his sob story, several times,put 40 – 60,000 in the building to get it to what it looks like, now! The only reason he is in business is because of the cops!