Big Boy Graveyard

Big Boy Graveyard

Big Boy Graveyard, photo by Charles Peace

I think that the only thing that is more disturbing than the knowledge that there is a Big Boy Graveyard to someone who grew up yelling “Big Boy! Big Boy!” every time we drove past one is the knowledge that there are (at least) TWO Big Boy graveyards in Michigan. (Detroit area Big Boy Graveyard from dETROITfUNK)

They never tell you about this when you’re in line at the buffet or evaluating which of the menu’s full-color desserts will most make you resemble the smiling icon of Big Boy Restaurants. Even Bob Wian who started Bob’s Big Boy in California in 1936 probably kept quiet about where the Big Boys go when they’re too old to huck hamburgers.

And Fred, Louis, and John Elias, the Elias Brothers who started their mainly Michigan-based Big Boy franchise in 1951? Well, the less said about where they wound up, the better.

Charles is a graduate of Lake Fenton High School (south of Flint) and just received his BFA in Photography from Northern Michigan University. You can check out his portfolio right here.

UPDATE: The Ultimate Upper Peninsula Blog has some photos from the mysterious Big Boy Graveyard.

13 thoughts on “Big Boy Graveyard

  1. Great photo…A little eerie, but I’m curious, can anyone go to the location where the picture was taken? Where in the state is it?


  2. Chaz,

    Just remember you promisedme that you would not to tell ANYBODY how to get there.

    GREAT Picure. You should see the one I took that day with my pinhole camera. It has a motion study attached that stretches the Big Boy’s head into a point above his body. Guess what that looks like. It’s a big boy. C.


  3. If this is in Michigan, we’d love to do a feature article on this. With the ties to the Fenton area, this is right up our alley. Please let us know if we can do something, anything with this. Awesome photo!!


  4. I love it! A reminder of ‘the old days’ when I was a teen in the 60’s and Big Boy was our favorite destination( along with Ted’s and Maverick’s) on Woodward! Sue ,Candy and Fred Elias went to the same high school that I did. Good times were had! I think there are a couple of Big Boy statues on Dixie Hwy. It seems to me that they have both been repainted~ no more checked overalls, It seems that the older B.B. statues had really black hair-the newer ones have more brown in the hair. Are ther Big Boys in other states? I remember Bob’s Big Boy in San Francisco and a Big Boy in Wisconsin (I think). May Slim Jim’s and B.B’s fries and tartar sauce live on FOREVER!



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