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Two Towering Ohio Roadside Attractions: Handless Jacques and Big Pierre

Ohio has its fair share of interesting and quirky attractions, two of which have recently been in the news.

Allow me to introduce you to Handless Jacques and Big Pierre.

Handless Jacques stands along State Route 163 in Marblehead between a gas station and an empty lot.

Don’t worry; if you’re driving to Marblehead to lay eyes on the 30-foot tall fiberglass figure, you can’t miss him.

And for those like me, who are interested in taking a photo of this massive roadside attraction, you’ll find plenty of parking available.

This is the only location I remember seeing “Jacques,” but interestingly, this is not his original home.  

Jacques once stood in front of a sandwich shop almost eighty miles south of Marblehead in Marion, Ohio.

In the late sixties, he welcomed guests to Jacques’, a roast beef sandwich shop. In his outstretched arms, he held a large roast beef sandwich.  

When the restaurant closed and Jacques was no longer needed, he was relocated to Marblehead, minus his sandwich.

He has stood in his current location along Route 163 next door to Mickey Mart for over 50 years to welcome those visiting the small town that sits along the shore of Lake Erie.

Handless Jacques’ has a Twin Named Big Pierre

But, this isn’t the only Jacque around.

It turns out Handless Jacques has a twin who also stood outside a roast beef store, Jacques’ Sandwich Shop, on Lexington Avenue in Mansfield.

This is the Jacque that I mistakenly thought was in Marblehead when I first wrote this post.

My bad.

Are you confused yet?

It turns out that when Mansfield Jacques was no longer needed at the restaurant, he made his way to a field by Mansfield Lahm Airport and then later to a field near I-71 outside Bellville.

This is where he lay until his recent restoration and resurrection behind the Buckeye Express Diner.

His name isn’t Jacque at all. He’s known as Big Pierre.

While he still doesn’t have hands, he does carry hamburgers, and he has the unofficial designation as the World’s Largest Bobblehead.

Restoring Handless Jacques and Pierre

Handless Jacques in Marblehead, Ohio is an iconic roadside attraction near Lake Erie.

As you can see from the Handless Jacques photos, he wasn’t in the best shape when I first saw him. He was cracked, weathered, worn, and obviously, missing his hands.

Handless Jacques roadside attraction.

Recently, the fiberglass statue underwent restoration and has been restored to its former glory. He may not be holding a roast beef sandwich, but he does have hands!

The restoration project was brought to life by Mike Cahill, who collaborated with the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council. Visit this page for more information.

Mike is a local businessman who grew up camping in the area and was distressed to find him in such poor condition. He rallied supporters and volunteers, and together, they brought new life to Jacques.

Mike was also instrumental in saving Mansfield Jacques, or Big Pierre, from the field where he’s laid for years to undergo restoration and creating the world’s largest bobblehead in Ohio.

Big Pierre was erected in his new location and is now visible to those traveling northbound on I-71.

Address of Handless Jacques

Handless Jacques can be found in the empty lot beside Mickey Mart at 6020 East Harbor Rd. Marblehead, Ohio 43440. Roadside attraction enthusiasts may also take a photo with Mickey the Moose at the gas station.

Other Marblehead, Ohio Attractions

While Jacques is quite a sight, he’s probably not the attraction you’re visiting the area to see, but he certainly makes a fun photo opp. Don’t miss these other attractions:

  • East Harbor State Park (you can even stop at Mickey Mart for firewood, ice and snacks)
  • Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
  • The Keeper’s House
  • Johnson Island, the site of a former POW camp for Confederate officers during the Civil War.  

Address of Big Pierre

Big Pierre can be found behind the Buckeye Express Diner at 810 OH-97 W, Bellville, OH 44813. Again, you’ll find ample parking for whatever vehicle you may be driving so don’t hesitate to stop and get a photo with this bobblehead roadside attraction.

Other Mansfield, Ohio Attractions

Jacques, or Big Pierre, is not the only quirky or unique attraction you’ll find in Mansfield. If you have time, add some of these attractions to your list of things to see:

  • Elektro, a walking, talking robot made in Mansfield to exhibit in the 1939 World’s Fair. He’s on display at Mansfield Memorial Museum.
  • Biblewalk, Ohio’s only wax museum.
  • The Ohio State Reformatory where the movie, The Shawshank Redemption was filmed. If you have time, check out the Shawshank Trail that leads you to the filming sites in the area.

Find more Roadside Attraction posts, check out this page:

Unusual Roadside Attractions

This post was originally published on March 16, 2016 and was updated in September 2022.

Penny Lynch

Monday 4th of March 2019

You mention Johnson Island. I thought that closed to the public years ago? I was lucky to have seen it a very long time ago. Beautiful, private island with a handful of homes.

Tonya Prater

Thursday 14th of March 2019

Johnson's Island is open but there really isn't much there other than the Confederate Cemetery and memorial- which is definitely worth the stop. To get on the island you have to drive across the causeway which does have a gate but for now you simply need to pay the toll and the arm on the gate will raise. I can't remember how much the toll is but you will need correct change so make sure you have quarters available. I believe on my last visit it was about 50 cents to $1.

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