Bangor cobbler carries on centuries-old tradition

Posted Aug. 25, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to grind down a sole of a shoe Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for about 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to grind down a sole of a shoe Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for about 10 years. Buy Photo
Tools to repair shoes are seen at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Tools to repair shoes are seen at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works carefully to grind down an old sole on a shoe to be replaced Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works carefully to grind down an old sole on a shoe to be replaced Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert grinds down a new heel piece for a pair of shoes Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert grinds down a new heel piece for a pair of shoes Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
A shoe former tool is seen Thursday at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor. Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
A shoe former tool is seen Thursday at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor. Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to carefully grind down the existing sole of a shoe to add a new heel Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to carefully grind down the existing sole of a shoe to add a new heel Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
Replacement shoe soles are seen at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner and cobbler Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Replacement shoe soles are seen at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner and cobbler Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
 Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert grinds down a sole of a shoe to be replaced Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert grinds down a sole of a shoe to be replaced Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
 Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to grind down a sole to be added to a shoe Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Yankee Cobbler's Jonathan Lambert works to grind down a sole to be added to a shoe Thursday at his shop in Bangor. Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo
A pair of boots wait to have a new sole added on at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
A pair of boots wait to have a new sole added on at Yankee Cobbler in Bangor on Thursday. Owner Jonathan Lambert has been a cobbler for around 10 years. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Centuries ago shoes were invented, and soon there was a need for cobblers to repair them. For nearly 10 years, cobbler Jonathan Lambert has been using those century-old techniques to repair shoes at his shop, Yankee Cobbler in Bangor.

Lambert does all types of shoe repairs from heels and soles to orthopedic modifications. But he says a majority of his shoe repairs come from the inability to replace the shoe, or from sentimental value.

“I have a lot of people repairing shoes that their dad had, that were good quality shoes, and now they want to repair them and wear them themselves,” said Lambert. “Or, ‘I’ve had these since high school and though I could go buy new ones, I really want to keep these ones going.’ I’ve repaired shoes that were 45 years old.”

The history of the shoes is what Lambert enjoys the most.

“When you get a shoe that old that was either Mom or Dad’s, or from high school, it kind of gives you a sense of pride being able to continue that history. Going and refurbishing them, making them look practically new, and sending them back out the door to be worn another 10 years,” said Lambert. “Some of the shoes have been all over the world.”

 

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