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Jacque offers a handshake and thumbs-up with his giant hands.
Jacque offers a handshake and thumbs-up with his giant hands.

Giant-Handed Jacque

Field review by the editors.

Marblehead, Ohio

No one recalls why and when Jacque, a 32-foot-tall statue of a French waiter, ended up in Marblehead. He'd formerly stood outside of a restaurant (named Jacque's) in Marion, Ohio, his hands holding a tray with an immense roast beef sandwich. He had a similar-but-not-quite-identical twin in Mansfield, Ohio, who was taken down in 1972. Perhaps that's when the Marion Jacque made his move to Marblehead.

Close-up view from Jacque's handless days.
Close-up view from Jacque's handless days.

Whenever that occurred, Jacque was separated from his tray, sandwich, and hands. They vanished, never to return. As long as Jacque stood in Marblehead, he was oddly incomplete.

Mike Cahill had seen Jacque countless times. Mike was retired, owned a construction company, had worked and vacationed in Marblehead, and wondered why no one had ever bothered to fix the statue, known to locals as Handless Jacque. "Millions of cars drove by this, and no one did anything except take it for granted," he said. "Why does stuff like this have to fall between the cracks until it goes away?"

Standing 32 feet tall, Jacque was built to be seen.
Standing 32 feet tall, Jacque was built to be seen.

Mike decided that Jacque would not go away, and in late 2021 he took on the project of restoring the statue. His initial inspection showed that Jacque, despite his battered appearance, was solidly built ("Hitting him would be like hitting a piece of concrete," Mike said) so the statue could be repaired where it stood. "All of my projects depend on volunteers, and the interest in this one was just tremendous," Mike told us. "I'm just an older, busted up guy. I painted the shoes and socks."

Patriotic bow tie and Lakeside Daisy details.
Patriotic bow tie and Lakeside Daisy details.

On Mike's suggestion, Jacque's bow tie was painted red, white, and blue, and his lapel was accessorized with a Lakeside Daisy -- a flower native to the region. He was given a coat of top-of-the-line marine paint, "good for the next 50 years," and rededicated with much local fanfare on September 15, 2022.

Along the way, Mike learned, to his delight, that Jacque's Mansfield twin was lying in pieces in a field outside of Bellville, Ohio. He met the owner, Terry Byrne, and convinced him to restore that Jacque as well, reattaching its decapitated head with a spring to turn it into the World's Largest Bobblehead, and the pair into the World's Largest Repurposed Fiberglass Twins.

But what about the missing hands of Handless Jacque? Mike had a new pair made, one of them positioned for a friendly handshake and the other giving a thumbs up. Despite their absurdly huge size, Mike said that they're actually smaller than the statue's original hands, whose dimensions he gauged by studying old photos of Jacque. "Those original hands had to be ridiculously large to hold that giant tray and sandwich," Mike said. "We had to scale them back."

Mike, a stickler for accuracy, was amazed by the design of Jacque. "Everything about him is out of proportion," Mike said. "His shoulder width is wrong. His head is too tall and thin. His ears are ridiculously big. His arms are the wrong thickness for his body. His shoes are huge. He is," said Mike, "a big cartoon!"

So, Mike said, "we gave him cartoon hands."

Also see: Jacque: World's Largest Bobblehead

Giant-Handed Jacque

6020 E. Harbor Rd, Marblehead, OH
On the south side of OH-163/E. Harbor Rd, just east of a gas station and the stoplight at OH-269/N. Buck Rd.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
Stand Inside World's Largest Geode, Put-in-Bay, OH - 8 mi.

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