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Monument to Big Louie.

Monument to Big Louie, the Copper Country Giant

Field review by the editors.

Hancock, Michigan

Lauri "Big Louie" Moilanen was a Finnish immigrant who still holds the record as Michigan's tallest man. When he died, age 27, in 1913, he was eight feet, three inches tall.

Monument to Big Louie.

A hundred years later his Michigan hometown decided that Big Louis should have a big monument. A black granite slab -- eight feet, three inches tall -- was erected in front of the town's Finnish American Heritage Center. It lists Louis' vital statistics in both Finnish and English, and serves as a handy size gauge: You Must Be This Tall To Be Big Louie.

At the monument dedication, which was attended by the U.N.'s Finnish Counsul General and many Moilanen relatives, Big Louis was praised for his gentle nature and industriousness. Despite his short life, he held jobs as a circus freak, farmer, miner, saloon keeper, and Hancock's justice of the peace. He was praised as the best bartender Hancock ever had, because he could reach all the bottles without leaving his stool.

After the monument was dedicated, some began questioning its accuracy, claiming that its height was wrong. The argument wasn't settled until 2019, when the grandson of the undertaker who buried Big Louis discovered the written dimensions of Louis' custom-built casket. Its interior length was indeed eight feet, three inches.

Monument to Big Louie, the Copper Country Giant

435 Quincy St., Hancock, MI
West edge of downtown, on the north side of Quincy St., next to the Finnish American Heritage Center.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Bear Trap - A Tourist TrapGiant Bear Trap - A Tourist Trap, Chassell, MI - 8 mi.
Memorial to the GipperMemorial to the Gipper, Laurium, MI - 10 mi.
Death Doorway of 1913Death Doorway of 1913, Calumet, MI - 10 mi.
In the region:
Gay Bar, Gay, MI - 21 mi.

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