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Big Boy Statue

Legend of the Big Boy Graveyard

UPDATE: For those of you who want to visit the Big Boy Graveyard and for more information visit the latest post here.

It was the spring of 2001 when three friends and I headed out with cameras with a big destination in mind, we had a mission: find the Big Boy Graveyard. We heard of its existence and even had a nice aerial map to pinpoint it’s location.

To be honest, it was quite obscure. It’s not often you come across a molded fiberglass version of one of your favorite childhood cartoon characters tipped over in the woods — with a big hole in the side of his head. Not to mention there were three Big Boys. It was evident upon arrival that this was indeed a graveyard.

These photos were taken seven years ago, shortly after the Big Boy franchise (headquartered in Warren, MI) filed bankruptcy. There are still a few of them left today, but far and few between.

After posting these photos online seven years ago it didn’t take long before nearly every week someone found them online and e-mailed me asking where the Big Boy Graveyard can be found.

For the disappointment of many I am very sad to say that the Big Boy Graveyard outside of Negaunee no longer exists. The three Big Boy’s have been exhumed and most likely went to a scrap yard. As for the four of us that went there that day in 2001, we never did get to pull off that amazing high school prank by transporting one of these to the middle of the high school football field before the homecoming game.

However, for those of you who love the obscure, an adventure, or perhaps just want to visit the grave of a childhood icon (those shakes ay Big Boy sure were the best as a kid!) there is still hope. There is reportedly a second Big Boy Graveyard in the lower peninsula. And if anyone has information on this we would love to know.

Big Boy Graveyard

Big Boy Graveyard

Big Boy Graveyard

Below you can see the map of the approximate area (the highlighted region) where the Big Boy Graveyard used to be. It was located along Marquette County Road 510 just off US 41, half way between Negaunee and Marquette.


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19 Wonderful Comments

  1. Tom Stanley
    Mar 7, 2008

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Stanley

  2. We received a post card from a friend that featured a painting of a dozen Big Boys a couple months ago. The artist is John Baeder, and the painting is called “Big Boy Bop”. You can find it on Google.

  3. Jen Healy
    Mar 13, 2008

    That is the creepiest thing ever
    Great place for a Ouji board….and a cheeseburger….

  4. I’m really peeved that this is no longer there, I would have loved to see that.

  5. The graveyard still exists near Marquette. There are 125 Big Boy restuarants still open in Michigan with new ones opening up still. Big Boy restaurants are located in 7 different states. There are even two in Florida and one in Hawaii. The Big Boy cult following is real and still thriving. Warren, MI is still the home of corporate Big Boy and also the home of the commissary.

  6. I remember always going to negaunee as a young kid (I live in marquette) and seeing those and being like… what? haha I was actually thinking about going out to look at them again soon… dang to bad it doesn’t exist anymore… i’d always be on the edge of my seat in the car trying to be the first one to be like ‘ I SEEE THE BIG BOYSS!!!’

    hahah…dang.

  7. Daija Hammond
    Sep 18, 2008

    When I was little, my family was driving through the woods and I remember seeing a bunch of Big Boys down in a ditch. I thought someone was stealing them and trying to hide them.

  8. The big boy graveyard still exists!! It’s in Negaunee, I’m not sure of the exact address but I was just there in July and I have pictures if anyone is interested! I can find the location because it’s right by my friends house!! :)

  9. Thom LaLonde
    Sep 18, 2008

    I’d really like to know where the Big Boy Graveyard is, Katrina. Please email me with directions – thomlalonde @ charter.net

    I’m a geocacher and that location is screaming for a hide.

  10. Josey Bonini-Aalto
    Sep 24, 2008

    Hey there, I’d like to know where this is too! Please send me the whereabouts at jboninia@nmu.edu thanks!

  11. I would also like to know where it is…

    jkoltowi@nmu.edu

  12. I would also like to know! please email me!
    Swiborn@nmu.edu

  13. Oh, wow… I would *Love* to see this!!! Can you please share the location with me? Thanks.

  14. Oh, forgot my e-mail. congestacongeela@yahoo.com

  15. Christian
    Oct 7, 2008

    Its a shame the big boys are there no longer. I remember a while back probably 8 years ago when i was a kid riding my bike up my alley I came across one of the Hamburgers from the Big Boy in my neighbors backyard leaned against the fence. I didn’t believe it at first but a few hours later tv6 was there and I guess my neighbor or someone stole it from the big boy in marquette. not sure how they did it the thing was huge.

  16. Yooper Steez
    Admin
    Oct 13, 2008

    For those of you who want to visit the Big Boy Graveyard and for more information visit the latest post here

  17. Sad news, the former owner of the Big Boy of Marquette passed away last week. Bill was the guy that owned the Marquette Big Boy’s and the Big Boy Graveyard. He was well enough two days before his death to stop by and see us one last time. I guess he insisted on going to the restaurant. He will be missed.

  18. Chris Kangas
    Mar 23, 2010

    i want the location

  19. Eldon Louis Moilanen
    Aug 2, 2011

    Every summer Pa would pick some Friday to start his vacation and come home on a Saturday night and load the Ford. The first Ford was a 1950 4 door. It was beige with a red interior. It was the first car I remember. Not sure why my Dad chose Ford’s early on, but, he’d spend late Thursday night overloading the car with suitcases tied down to the roof like refugees from Karelia. The next morning at the crack of dawn we’d be heading out of Detroit “going Up North”. Grandma’s house was in Nisula, but we always said we were going to White Siding because that was what the place was called in 1913 when my grandpa bought it and that is what they always called it.

    A drive from Detroit to Nisula in the best of times in those days was 12 to 13 hrs, what with the ferry boat ride and wait, wait and ride. My Dad was thrilled if he could make it to “The Farm” with still some daylight left and still some feeling in his right foot and leg. Pa was never one to mix drinking and driving, so, whatever pushed him to drive 12 to 13 hours straight was pure adrenaline and pure love of his mother and the homestead.

    Despite his hard push, we usually pulled in after dark and were welcomed by a 40 watt bare light bulb burning on the back porch and collecting the biggest amount of rare insects, mouths and night critters, fire flies and bats, any small boy could wonder at.

    The quiet of that back porch (back side of the house off 35, or, I think it was 38 then) was remarkable even to a child of my limited experience of the world. There was no prison and no casino back then to feed a steady traffic of employees or gamblers through the night like there is now (every ten minutes, another car like clock work). There was just dark, and stars, and quiet. You could hear a deer breathe out under the old apple trees. You ciould hear a shooting star cut across the Northern Lights.

    In Grandma’s kitchen which you entered through the snow room off the back steps. Everything would be warmth and lights, and pats and hugs and compliments over doing nothing more than growing another year older. All the compliments and teasing in Finn,so, I just learned to smile and take it as love in any language.

    The kids, my brother and sister and me, would stay up a while and listen to my Dad and his mother and his two Finnish bachelor brothers go on and on about the old day, but it was all in Finn and they only drug us in to give a school report or look at how many teeth we lost or how big our ears were growing then it’d be back to the Old Language. Even today going through an airport or traveling as soon as I hear the ‘guta ta ta ta” roll of the multiple sylabels I’ll knowe I’m in the vicinity of a Finnish speaking person.

    Then right before bed we’d wander round the house and look at all the old things grandma had. A wind up phonograph with the same record onh it everytime. A wicker couch with an old Indian Trading blanket covering it, the hide of a favorite German Shepherd that was poisoned by a mean neighbor (an Englishman),the old piano, the old photos of Great Grandma and Grandpa before they left the Old Country, the antique shotgun my cousin Danny ended up with. And, then upstairs and off to bed. But, first, it was take a flashlight and go to the outhouse. The outhouse was an experience all it’s own in the daylight. it smelled of card board and cedar wood and a couple generations of ancestral shat and pizz, but at night after a 12 hour drive and just outta the white gleaming porcelain of a city of Detroit bathroom and toilet, I usually choose a quiet place to pee a few yards off the drive way. And, what a glorious pzz it was in the aura of the Aurora Borealus, in the quiet of America’s last frontier, on the edge of heaven. Me, the stars and my Pa’s EverLight flash light. At Grandma’s house 1955. All was right with the world. E.L.M. 8/2/11.

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