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