Jan 16-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: January: Jan 16-05
Houghton Big Boy    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by James Ludos
Old Lower Bridge    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by James Ludos

Charlie H., Eagle River, MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:38 am:

A couple of snowy shots for this week's Shoebox Memory... James and Sarah Ludos take us back to 1975 to revist 2 spots which have changed considerably in 3 decades. Lately I've been remembering the unique taste of a double decker Big Boy hamburger, though I haven't had one in years. Often we would stop in Marquette or Houghton, on the way up to the Keweenaw, to have supper after a long day of travel from downstate. This restaurant has long since disappeared from Houghton, and the one in Marquette burned down in '02.

Eagle River has been a recurring destination in my life since 1965, when I first came as a camper to Gitche Gumee. It wasn't too many years ago we could drive across the lower bridge, which appears to be plowed in today's second photo from 1975.

These 2 pictures trigger a flood of memories for me. Don't know if I've ever shared this, but I drove from Houghton to Eagle River mentally every day for 10 years, before we actually moved here in 1988. Perhaps someday I can share the details of that extended exercise in personal motivation, when I have a little more time to write. But at the moment, there's a driveway full of snow outside which is calling me and my trusty Silver Bear snow scoop.

Have a good week :o)

By Ralph, stuck in Fl. on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:49 am:

good morning to everyone in the U.P. rainy in Florida wish it was snow.

By Brent, UPstate, NY on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:59 am:

'morning all! 20 degrees and looks like it'll be sunny here today. Oh, Ralph in Florida: At least you don't have to shovel rain. Can't say I've ever heard anyone complain of an achey back after a thunderstorm. ha ha.

By John Van DYke, MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:18 am:

From Gardner's house past the Long's homes, across the birdge, to the post office in the store was a daily trip to get the mail in the late 1950's. Sometiimes back to the Gardner's via the upper bridge to watch the falls (the falls are realy a dam built for the powder factory, not a natural falls). Then past Zenda's and some other names I have forgotten. Wonderful memories of ER and the people there over the yrars.

By NKR Mishawaka IN on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:31 am:

Oh Big Boy. Down here in Indiana it was called Azar's. They had the best hamburgers and fries. They also had a ham sandwich called (I think) a Poor Boy. If I close my eyes I can smell them. Here, they were drive in's. It was a place to go and meet your friends. What great memories. Thanks Charlie. Okay, now I'm hungry.

By Mr.Bill on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 09:09 am:

In the late 50's, a Big Boy with an order onion rings and a coke = 97 cents. It southern Ohio they were Frisch's Big Boys. Recall hearing of some type of legal issues over the "Big Boy" name.

Frisch's used tartar sauce and I'll never forget ordering a Big Boy at Elias in Layfette, Indiana only to unplesantly learn that they used thousand island dressing, uck.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 09:23 am:

Man, do you guys have snow!!!! This is the third day I could barely see the bridge. Someone send me a box of it!

By Lisa, Lake Orion, MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 09:50 am:

My grandfather, Wagner Dahlgren, grew up in a house just up the little hill on the other side of that bridge. When I was little, I remember his stories of when he was a boy and would walk that bridge across the TOP of those metal supports... and trouble he would be in when he got home!

Also, in the 70's before the new bridge was installed up the road near the falls, I remember the bike hikes from Mohawk to Eagle River for a weenie roast along the water, and stopping to play in the falls on the way back.

Such fond, fond memories. Charlie, I make that mental trip daily now. Soon, when the kids are grown and gone, we will be back.

By Candy, CA on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:13 am:

Big Boy's ham sandwich was the Slim Jim...I remember lots of very late nights at the Houghton Big Boy when I was a Tech student. When they closed, Arnie Pesola gave me one of the pictures that used to hang in the store.

By Brian Juntikka at Ft Myers, FL on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:37 am:

Before Elias Bros Big Boy moved there in 1972, that establishment was known as Nelson's Restaurant and it was a Copper Country Favorite. In the 1940s and early 50s, it was called "Nelson's Chocolate Shop" but in fact was a full service restaurant. On top of that, they had the best greazy hamburgers you ever tasted.

The story I heard was that the Nelson's got their start in business by selling fresh hot pasties at local hockey games.

By yoopergirl on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:40 am:

Dear Lisa, I bet your family knew the Siblisky's that owned the store? They were relatives of mine. I remember going their for ice cream and then going up the big set of steps to their living quarters and playing a game that had colored type marbles in it. It had to be 35 years ago. Good memories.

By pepster, GA on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:41 am:

Ahh...those Big Boys were good. I remember Mr. C's in the picture - the place to go to buy your toiletries at a reasonable price. Speaking of food, what ever happened to the Colonial Steak House in Hancock? I remember the great pizzas they had along with the Gold Room, including the gold medal from the 60's olympics.

By Don again in Mqt on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:42 am:

Charlie - The Long home in ER originally had the County jail on the top floor, heavy wooden doors and all. Bill Long was for many years the Bookeeper for the Malfroid Trading Co. in Laurium and Houghton. It was a wholesale feed and grain, flour salt and sugar distributor. They also had Skelly Gas, and sold Buggys!. The last of the Buggys went to Mackinaw Island in the 40s. The warehouse that was west of the bridge in Houghton was sold in 1949 and burned that winter when new owner lit the furnace. Wes, the manager built Wes's Standard Service right across the street! Bill Long Married my great aunt Cora Malfroid and they moved to and ran a Dairy farm and cheese factory near Green Bay into their 80s then retired.

By sur5er, Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:20 am:

That's another thing that I miss about Michigan...Big Boys...they don't have the resturants here in Indiana. So once in awhile I make a run for the border to the Big Boys in Stevensville Michigan.

The Big Boys resturant in St. Ignance is our first stop whenever we travel up to the UP.

Charlie I hear you about the motivational mental trips to the UP...I do them quite often, myself, (and my husband wonders why I don't need a map when we head up to the UP on vacations?)

By Ex- Yooper in IA on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:32 am:

How much snow did you guy's get?

By Lori... Commerce Twp on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:00 pm:

You guys made the weather channel... They mentioned 2 feet of snow this week! I wonder how much snow we would have gotten, had the rain been snow down here in this area? (lower mich.) The flooding, then freezing was not fun to deal with. My truck was completely frozen shut on Friday. It took me forever to get into it!

By cje on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:15 pm:

If i remember, my dad did some of the work in the
"new big boy". his advice to me was... "and I better not see your name carved in one of the booths the next time i go in there!" but i doubt he ever went back.

By Judy Chesaning MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:17 pm:

There is a Big Boy in Owosso. Strawberry, pecan or coconut pie as a special treat! Spent many a Sunday evening following church services at the Big Boy in Pontiac enjoying a Slim Jim and Onion rings. Memories! 9 degrees here in the Saginaw Valley with sunshine!

By Michelle, Seattle Washington on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:32 pm:

Wishing for snow from Seattle, getting rain instead. Thank goodness for mail orders from RMG Maple Syrup and the Northwest mountains ( Mt. Rainier) or I'd have to move to move to snow country. Love your website and photos, very inspirational. My blessings to all who read this, have a wonderful new year.

By yooper at university of north dakota on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:33 pm:

well, so much for it getting up to zero today, its about 22 BELOW ZERO ***WITHOUT WIND CHILL***, i know we get wayyy more snow back home but its wayyy colder out here in grand forks, nd...

By maijaMI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:52 pm:

I miss the Houghton Big Boy! But it's probably a good thing: now it gets me into the dog house or Suomi for breakfast.

By JAD, Oskar, MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 01:18 pm:

Slim Jims were my favorite too. And I had the privilege of eating at Nelson's. Decor was similar to Lindell's in Lake Linden, Doncker's in Marquette, and Garbell's in Menominee. Of course, the Big Boy did away with all that dark woodwork and tiled floors. Can anyone identify the owners of the homes
on that ER street in the 60's and 70's--beginning with the store and heading down to the mouth of the river? I have a painting of the street and have been told one of the houses belonged to a Bessie Roberts. I'd sure appreciate knowing who lived where in the houses in that painting.

By Rose on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 01:19 pm:

I loved the Big Boy's strawberry pie so much I managed to get a copy of the recipe. I still make it to this day. Sure would be tasty on a winter's day.

By ed/mi on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 01:28 pm:

On our trips to Grammas in the 70's we would stop at either the Big Boy in Gaylord, St Ignace or Marquette. It was a ritual and could not fool the little ones by passing one by. We could get early breakfast at either one and now Marquette has burnt to the ground, Gaylord one now moved from the old Chalet Town to west side of I-75 near the WALLY WORLD store and last time thru at the bridge the St Ignace one was closed also...

By M.B., IL-WI-MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 01:37 pm:

I remember eating in the Big Boy in Iron Mountain on the way up north one time. Mom stopped after pleas from my brother and myself. After 6 hours in the car from northern IL, she could not resist indulging us. Then, she piled two contented kids in the car and continued our trip to Eagle River, MI. Personally, I think she secretly enjoyed stopping more than us! :-)

I remember the lower bridge in Eagle River. I preferred driving over it instead of the old upper bridge. It was always the feeling of cheating death because it rattled under the weight of the car. I also miss how the Main St. used to be straight - now it curves to the new M-26. With the new M-26, the playground behind the schoolhouse was shrunk.

I have not been to the schoolhouse playground in over 1 decade. Does it still exist?

By Kate, CA on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 01:54 pm:

Your Shoebox photos brought up memories for me. One of my very first jobs was at the Big Boy in Marquette as a waitress. It was the summer of '69. I had the unfortunate experience, as did the patron, of setting down his bowl of hot chili a little too gingerly, as it slid across the table and fell into his lap. Plop. You can imagine the scene and how we both reacted. I felt so-o-o-o bad and I know he was mortified and luckily, wasn't burned, or so he said. He was with a date. Bless his heart, he left me a tip, twenty five cents. Lots of money in those days. If the guy this happened to happens to read this, I remain very apologetic, and I certainly hope you didn't suffer any ill effects! Dare I mention I didn't last as a waitress at the Big Boy for very long. Thanks pasty.com for stirring up the memory!

By Copper Country Kid on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 02:15 pm:

Fond memories of going to Nelson's restaurant in the 60's. They had such delicious food--especially remember liking their steak sandwiches. As teens we would go there for french fries and "real" cherry cokes. Such a big treat back then. Elias Brothers Big Boy definitely had the best strawberry pie on earth. Does the Douglass House still have their dining room? Years ago they had a wonderful Sunday brunch. Also remember the delicious ice cream at Broemer's in Chassell. Another favorite was Gino's in Hancock--everything there was always fantastic.

By maijaMI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 02:43 pm:

Last time I was in St. Ignace, (Oct) the Big Boy was open doing a thriving business. Is it really closed?

The Douglass house now has Armando's restaurant.

By ed/mi on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 02:51 pm:

My fault, St. Ignace was closed last July!!!Yours is a newer update.

By sur5er, Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 03:12 pm:

Whew...that was a close one. My heart dropped when Ed from Michigan said they had closed the St. Ignance Big Boys. Boy, that has been a family tradition each time we cross the Mackinac Bridge into the UP...can it really be this long...but for the past twenty years. Gotta get my hands on the Big Boy hamburger at least once while in the UP.

Thanks for the update Maija. Perhaps they were just closed for remodeling.

By Frank P on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 03:23 pm:

Big Boy may have been great but I'll take a pasty anyday. Not greazy like a burger.

By TLM on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 03:38 pm:

Rose -

Any chance that you would post that strawberry pie recipe here?

Big Boy food, my favorite is the hamburger with a big 'o slice of raw onion. Brawny Lad, I think it's called on the menu.

Anyone remember Frank's restaurant on the west side of US-41 just a tad bit south of Ahmeek? Frank was a short guy and his wife had a high pitched voice. She made the best greasy burgers I ever tasted. I think it burned down around 1965?

I wonder if the people who ran many of the restaurants ever knew that they and their business would be in so many people's memories so long after the place closed? Thanks for the memories Mr and Mrs. Frank(?) whever you may be.

By gw-michigan on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 03:39 pm:

What memories of the Houghton Big Boy! My husband & I went there quite a few times for the
Big Boy combo. The picture even caught a glimpse
of my dads 1972 blue Dodge pickup off to the left.

By M.B., IL-WI-MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 04:21 pm:

Rose, TLM- I second the motion. Could you post the strawberry pie recipe?

By Yooper in Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 04:36 pm:

Nelson's was originally located in Calumet on Fifth street, then moved to Houghton and was owned by Alec and Hannah Nelson who were sponsors of Norwegian students at Tech.

By Barbara, southern Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:31 pm:

Here in Southern IN the Big Boys were Frisches, and the ham sandwich, which I just had a few minutes ago, was the Buddy Boy [no tomato on my order], and I am so addicted. I travel the route, one Frisches in Louisville on Shelbyville Road, one in Clarksville, IN and the other in New Albany, IN, hoping they won't catch on to how often I am there. However, that isn't working, I go in and the waitresses who seat me, say, "THE USUAL?" In Marquette, it was Elias Brothers and they were like our Frisches here at home, but in Sault Ste Marie the Buddy Boy was made with Thousand Island Dressing and I get such a stomach ache from them. I miss the one in Marquette, our favorite place to eat was their Elias Big Boy.

By Dolores Columbus,OH on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:33 pm:

Does anyone remember Eddie's Resturant on SHelden Ave , in the mid 50's???

By Mr.Bill on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:34 pm:


I third the motion on the strawberry pie recipe!

Brawny Lad, oh, I haven't thought of one of those in almost 50 years. Big raw onion slice and some kind of rye bun. How about the chunky halbut fish sandwich.

Talk about comfort food ........

By MA MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:39 pm:

Does anyone have a picture of the old Phoenix School in their shoe box?

By LZ, MI on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:46 pm:

In the mid to late seventies I worked at both the Big Boy's in Houghton and Iron Mountain. Slim Jims were by far the most popular dinners ordered. The hot fudge brownie was the most popular desert.

There was a sub shop I loved in Houghton, but i am having trouble remembering the name - Tojo's? Good stuff.

By John Van Dyke on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:52 pm:

Going right to left, I don't rememberwho had the first two houses. The third (with the open pourch) belonged to the Stromback's. They rented rooms in the summer and sold agate jewlery that Sigard made. (I fell over backwards off the railing once.) The last house with the dark color was where Bessie lived, there was a side street there that lead off the the right. Just below her house was a vacant lot that had been the site of a hotel that burned down. My info is from the late 50's.

By gw-michigan on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 05:52 pm:

Yea, Rose, how about that recipe for Strawberry
Pie from the Big boy? You have sparked everyones
interest in the recipe. We would greatly appreciate it!!!

By Mike Diljak on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:03 pm:

LZ, I am not 100% sure of this but I believe the name of that sub shop was Togo's. They did indeed have good subs, but I too think pasties are better. On my last trip up there though, I was surprised at how they are to find up in the Kewenaw now.

By Gary, CO on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:33 pm:

Mike Diljak, I believe you are correct in your message to LZ. The sub shop was Togo's, which I think was a name which meant "To Go", as in takeout since they had no seating. Seems like it was in a converted gas station building.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:37 pm:

PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT STRAWBERRY PIE! I'm about to go completely nuts!

If we come up for a weekend, can we ALL get together somewhere and have all these wonderful things? :) :) :)

By flewtodayand frozemybuns on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:39 pm:

We used to drive to Marquette for a Big Boy...It was the 60's. Our dream was to open a McDonalds in Houghton.........college munchies.....never happened of course.

How about the Rex Bar at almost the same location and the rathskeller downstairs. They had a restored Model T behind chicken wire. It was moved out the night before the fire. Now that was thinking..............................

By Alan, Kansas City MO on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:02 pm:

Yes, LZ, it was "Togo's". I rented an apartment above the LakeView Lounge which was just across the street from Togo's. I setup my desk right in front of the window and could see people going in and out of there. When I saw someone I knew, I could throw open the window and yell to them. Also lived there when the Tech homecoming parade would go East through Houghton on Sheldon Ave (this is opposite the normal, one-way traffic flow West on Sheldon) Sat up in the window drinking "sodas" and watched the parade go by. Great apartment! Looking out the kitchen, you could see the portage and the lift bridge. Great apartment at least for views. Lived there in 1980-81.

By gw-michigan on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:17 pm:

The former TOGO'S sub shop building in Houghton
I believe was a Sinclair gas station. All this
talk about former businesses is very interesting.
Brings back alot of memories.

By Candy, CA on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:17 pm:

Try this link for Big Boy Strawberry pie -- it's pretty much the same recipe I have from the Houghton Big Boy, from about 1976 when a friend was cooking there.

By Kate, Ann Arbor on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:03 pm:

Thank you for the Strawberry Recipe Candy. For us trolls in Ann Arbor - they have changed the meat in the Slim Jim at the Big Boy's on Plymouth at US 23. It is not the same. Anybody know why?

By NKR Mishawaka IN on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:10 pm:

THATS IT! BUDDY BOY! Thanks Barbara southern Indiana. I was thinking they were called Poor Boys but it was Buddy Boy. I didn't think there were any Big Boys open. Sur5er, Indiana - where abouts in Stevensville is there a Big Boy? How far from Mishawaka IN is that? I think I'm gonna have to take a trip.

By Betsy-Florida on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:19 pm:

Thanks for the recipe, Candy. Just in time for our yummy Florida strawberries.
Our birthday "cake" of choice while students at Northern in '69 was that pie. We walked all the way from the dorms to get it.

By Blue Jacket boy on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:24 pm:

A restaurant that I would rather forget:

Katy's Kitchen, 6th street, Calumet

ts - you remember this one?

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:56 pm:

From Sibilsky's store down to the Lake the houses where owned as follows, Stombeck's, (Clarice was a Sibilsky). The white house next down the road was also owned by a Sibilsky. Then came the German Hotel owned by Henry and Katie Long, who were decendents of Joseph Long the County's first sheriff and proprietor of both the Hotel and the 3rd floor jail. Next door to the hotel was Long's saloon. Then there is yet another Sibilsky (I think) owned house, and finally Bessie Phillip's home.
I have many memories of the lower bridge. We either stayed at the lighthouse or Strombeck's depending on how many of us made the trip "up home". My materal Grandmother was a Long, so we would often visit our cousins Katie, Henry, Alan, Pat, Frank, Bonnie, Mary, and Trish. This required frequent trips across the bridge. Walking the top beams was still done - but not by me!

By Joanne White Lk on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:57 pm:

I dont remember a lower bridge. Can someone refresh my memory?

By gw-michigan on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 09:55 pm:

On http://www.reapingrewards.com/strawberrypie.html
is a recipe for the Strawberry Pie mentioned earlier. One thing caught my eye---"This pie is
found in a restaurant chain"
Could this be it??? The Big Boy recipe???

By sur5er, Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:22 pm:

NKR from Mishawaka, I thought you would be wanting directions to the Big Boys in Stevensville :) When I looked on Yahoo, it says that the Big Boy resturant is in St. Joseph, (I guess I was mistaken about which town it was in...sorry). It is right around the 22 mile marker on I-94, and is right off the exit (there are billboards up and down I-94 for the Big Boys. If I get a chance, I will run up there this week and get the exact location for you. :)

By Bill, Mohawk on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:31 pm:

Paul in Illinois
The first Sheriff of Keweenaw County was Chas. Kunz. He was Sheriff from 1861 to 1866.
The second Sheriff was Wm B. Wright from 1867 to 1868.
I could not find Joseph Long listed as Sheriff at all, maybe he was the jailer or just owned the first jail?

By sur5er, Indiana on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 10:39 pm:


Compliments of Mapquest, here's the link for the map/location of the Big Boys that I go to in Michigan. Note that it is in Stevensville...wow, for a change I was right.

click here

With it being winter, always check the weather for Benton Harbor, because they have been known to close down sections of I-94 in that area when they have white out conditions due to lake effect snow.

Enjoy :)

By Marta on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:16 pm:

that website doesn't go anywhere sorry.

By Phillip Peterson, escanaba mi on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:33 pm:

you guys & gals made my night tonight my dad and another guy ran all the big boys in the UP
for the Stein Brothers for around 30 years it was very cool to read your post and it makes me smile to think of all the people that worked for him that i got to meet when i travled with him.
it sure was fun. I can thank big boy everynight on my dads deck for all the good times i had with my dad growing up and watching him work.
now on our own we own Drifters Restaurant and the Buck Inn and some of our menu items are kind of close to a few big boy items but i never told you that LOL. thanks for sharing your thoughts
also my wife and i drive to Manistique, MI a couple of times a month from escanaba just to eat at there big boy.

By Susan, Fl on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 11:38 pm:

Lots of memories generated today...worked summer of 69 at Elias Bros Big Boy in Gaylord...Slim Jim's, Brawny Lads, Strawberry pie, Chili Sizes, and hot fudge sundaes (I remember these because one day the hot fudge machine broke and no one told me...I went to make one and the darn thing spewed HOT fudge all over me!) Remember lots of the regular customers too...Pat from the drug store across the street always came in for lunch...Big Boy, no center bun, and coffee, black! Still in touch with some ex co-workers...scattered all over the country.

By Paul in Illinois on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 12:22 am:

In my earlier note, the impression was left that Joseph Long was the first sheriff of Keweenaw County. As Bill from Mohawk has correctly stated, Charles Kunz was the 1st sheriff of Keweenaw county in 1861 when the county was separated from Houghton Co.. Joseph Long was the "sheriff" for lack of a better title much earlier in the 1840's - 1850's era. During those boom years law enforcement was a local effort; Joe Long built the jail in the 3rd floor of his hotel, down at the Minesota (sic)Mine, the local law enforcment agency provided a planked over pit for the jail - or so goes the old stories, one might conclude it was better to be arrested in Eagle River than in the Ontonagan area. During those early years government was either non-existant or very informal. Joseph Long's term or appointment marked the very beginning of organized Government in the Copper Country. The front three story portion of the "German Hotel" is one of the oldest buildings in Eagle River, under the clapboard siding one will find logs, it is in third floor or "attic" of that front section that the jail was built and still exists unless the present owner has removed it. Joseph Long is buried in the Catholic Cemetary at Clifton. Sorry if I caused some confusion.

By Sherry, Gulfport MS on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:14 am:

I used to love going to Big Boy after a night at the "Duck" with friends. I waitressed there for a few months and came to respect the job waitresses do, it wasn't for me! Hanging out was much more fun, my favorite was also the Slim Jim!

By Rose on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:21 am:

Big Boy Strawberry Pie

1 pre-baked, 9" pie shell (cooled)
Fresh strawberries ( or frozen, thawed and well-drained )
1 1/2 C Water
3/4 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 3oz pkg strawbery gelatin

Boil together - water, sugar,cornstarch and gelatin mix, cool but do not allow to completley thicken. Arrange strawberries closely in a single layer, in baked pie shell. Pour gelatin mixture over and refrigerate several hours before serving.

By Rose on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:34 am:

Don't forget the whipped cream !

By Charlie in Eagle River on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:16 am:

About the old Eagle River Jail in the German Hotel...

A couple of months ago we hooked up Pasty.NET wireless broadband in that building, which is currently being renovated for a bed and breakfast. Marci Vivian gave me a tour. They have tastefully converted the jail cells into bedrooms, with all the original bars from the mid 1800's. Somewhere I have a video of the jail, made about 15 years ago. In year# eight of the Pasty Cam, we hope to do more with motion pictures, expanding the format beyond just a single daily still photo, to include home movies and videos made in the U.P.

By the way - about the General Store a couple of doors down... Yesterday afternoon I stopped over for a visit with Jack and Carol Treganowan, to make some adjustments to their Pasty.NET wireless receiver. They live in the cozy upstairs apartment above the store. Many thanks to Jack, who wheeled his snow blower over to our house and saved me the effort with that Silver Bear scoop!

In warmer times

By John from the prairie on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:54 am:

in my travels i've encountered
bob's big boy
bill's big boy
top's big boy
elias' big boy
eli's big boy

brawny lad and slice of pie!

By Don again in Mqt on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:06 am:

Paul - It sure is nice to have the first sheriff thing straightened out and to know that it was the jail I saw back in 1950 across from the old lower bridge. Thanks

By Jeff@Illinois on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:34 am:

I think there is still a Big Boy's in Iron Mountain on US 2. Seems like we always passed it on our way to Iron River from Illinois. Then after how many years did I find a "by pass" around Iron Mountain to avoid the traffic in Iron Mountain. Traffic in Iron Mountain???
Big Boy's hadn't hit Houghton while I was there from 60 to 71 at Suomi. We felt the Suomi Restaurtant had the best burgers.

By jim of ann arbor on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:04 am:

To the Vivians and other people interested in the street, does
anybody remember Olive Farwell, descendent of Oliver Farwell,
when she lived in the German Hotel; or where the drunktank
door went; or when Allan Long had 23? cars in his back yard; or
(for first place) the hotel that was across the street from the
Eagle Hotel and burned down 1913ish? Jack and Carol have a
picture with James Phillips and Bessie and others on the steps of
the Eagle.

By jimbo green bay, wi on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:14 am:

enjoyed many a late night Slim Jims after spending a shift at Diamond Mikes. Does anyone remember the "Tepee" restaurant on 41 between Houghton and Chassell?

By SDC,Ferndale, MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 12:13 pm:

Jimbo green bay, WI
I sure do remember the Tepee restuarant. That was one of my dad's truck stops when he worked for Copper Country Dairy in the early 1960's. On one of our Sunday drives, we'd stop there and he introduced us kids to the chief. Fun times!

By Candy, CA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 02:08 pm:

The Teepee was owned by the Gazvoda family, who also owned the Hiawatha drive-in theater in Chassell. I had the distinct pleasure of working at the Teepee in 1973, when they converted it to a year-round place. Everytime I hear the song "Brandy" it reminds me of that place! Now it's home to Hitch Engineering.

Remember the Rendezvous Restaurant, down M-203 from Calumet? It was owned by the Masini family (I worked there for a summer, too).

By ric, WI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:13 pm:

There is a GREAT Big Boy restaurant in Manistique on US 2......strawberry pie there is awesome!

By b in gb on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:16 pm:

Bob Forsberg in Green Bay gave me a menu for the Utzman's Restaurant 209 7th st in Calumet..
Does anybody remember when this might of been around or what that location is today..
Pasties were 35 cents. t bone dinner was $1.20!!

By Scott, Wi. on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:43 pm:

When did the Houghton Big Boy close?
I recall eating there in August 1980.....

Good and cheap! Being young and on a budget
that worked for us! We couldn't stay home
so it was burgers and they were great.

The subject in the Northern Wisconsin papers
is taking the cold in stride and how you
get used to it? I don't know if I agree with
that at all. But I know the snow makes different
sounds when you walk on it.

Now days I have a auto starter on the car
and I run to the garage and jump in.

No walking far in this weather!

By dazed; so cal on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:43 pm:

Togos is the BEST sub shop period. They are really popular out here in southern california. There's a really old Bob's Big Boy out in Burbank (est ~1949) Every friday night they have a sort-of classic car show in the parking lot. Really cool.

By Helen E/G UP on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:47 pm:

Reguarding the meat change in the Slim Jim's....is it a franchise store now by any chance????? If so, to B.B's dismay the franchise stores sometimes do what they want.....If it is still a company store call BB's in Warren on Marcy St. and ask them what the deal is. Maybe we should all call the main Office and tell them we want a BB's up here....after working for them in Mgt......I sure miss the food!!!!!

Reguarding the Jail.......Yes, it is done very nice, and Marcy is a really nice person but I have a problem with destroying history. My good friend Mary Long took me thru the house before she sold it.....the Jail was right out of the past.....and the house, you could just imagine in your minds eye the people that passed thru the doors. I cannot begin to put in words how awesome the place was.....
I just love the historical values of the old buildings......When they tore down the NO.VI stagecoach stop in Novi....I cried. They took history and reduced it to a pile of wood and brick and call it progress......go figure.

By ts on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:09 pm:

Remember Katies well--my wife her mother and aunt Liz helped Katy paint the walls before opening--Only utzmans I can remember are the 2 that were on 5th St--1st was Al and his brother Joes on the north end of the street across from Johnsons lunch--the other on 5th by oak that Al and his wife Dorothy ran--across the street from the jewelry store run by Walgren--Pietala--Luokinen--last I think was Olson---the shops torn down now

By deborah, orl Florida on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:47 pm:

Hello all,
Big boys closed in the late 80's due to something with the sewage system. Togo's had the best sub's #16 was the best they eventually made it #1. Going to the movies on saturday night then to big boys for boston cream soda and a slim jim. Then quik stop was on the corner where burger king is. A lot of us worked there. and had a great time. miss those days.
The togo's down here in Florida are nothing like the one we had..

By B in GB on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 12:10 am:

Rumor back then was they were planning a new Big Boy near the Houghton black sands ..

By B IN GB on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 12:12 am:


By Chanse on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 08:37 am:

LZ - You must have served me a few meals - I all but lived in Big Boy from 78 or so to 81 - I grew up out on the end of Houghton Canal, we (Canal Boys) would drink coffee in that place until they kicked us out - or charged us double! I remember holding the record at 42 cups in one sitting! We would stay as long as they would let us to avoid the long walk home because hitch-hiking wasn't very successful late at night out on the canal - and I had to walk about 17 miles! I lived in the Dog House during the winter of 80/81 which you see in the distant corner of the shot.

By jim in Florida on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 04:01 pm:

I believe the true origin of the TOGO's name is not from "to go" but from the first names of the two guys who started it, Tom and Gordon.

By b in gb on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 07:33 pm:

mike cobler was founder of Togo's in 1971 according to the site.

By Oopps on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 07:40 pm:

then again maybe since it was founded in 68..

By G.Audette,Naples ,Fl. on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 08:45 pm:

Did my time moving the Snow in Hubbell,
now enjoying the SUN full time.
Been there done that!
I enjoy your SITE.

By Bonnie, Florida on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 06:46 pm:

I love the way this site goes from Big Boy to Togo's. Back in 1972 my Tech boyfriend, Ross, worked at Togo's. Many a munchie was satisfied when his shift was over and he brought home sandwiches for all! Ross Gatzke - are you out there alive and well? Girl from Gay, now living in Florida, would like to say hi!

By jimbo gb on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 02:54 pm:

candy in ca the Tepee, Rendezvous and Halfway bar

very cool for you to have worked at the Tepee and the Rendezvous. Rendezvous was usually a Sunday drive. How about the Halfway bar in Atlantic Mine, and the happy hours on Fridays? wonder how many of you were there, no one believes me when I tell them it was a penny a beer and a nickel for a pitcher.

By PJ missouri on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 08:43 pm:

I worked the breakfast shift when the Big Boy opened in '75. I was never so happy to get a job since unemployment was running about 150% at that time. I assembled many a strawberry pie. The crusts came prebaked on the Big Boy supply truck from Detroit. We would cap the strawberries with a spoon and pour bright pink glop from a gallon carton over them. It most likely was cornstarch and jello based and stained your hands for the day. Real whipped cream went on top.

By Texas on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 07:40 pm:

Love this web site always see pics of places and things that bring me back, cool mornings in Texas remind me of being in the UP. Born in Calumet Hospital, our family made Summer journeys 'home'. My maternal grandmother and grandfather lived in Kearsarge all their lives. Miss them everyday, both are now gone. Roy and Bertha Eilola. My grandfather kept a logbook on the snow charts in a copper box which I asked for when he died. SO nice to be able to 'come home' via this site now and then.

By Patti on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 09:51 am:

I just got in here today it was so much fun thinking of the old days in the UP with all of you how I miss it. Will not make it up there this winter but will be there in the summer.

By Mike, California on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:47 pm:

Yes, this is correct: I believe the true origin of the TOGO's name is not from "to go" but from the first names of the two guys who started it, Tom and Gordon. It is printed in an article, now on display in the newly-relocated original shop.

Tom and Gordon tried getting this 'mom and pop' style deli going, but somehow, missed the mark. Mike Cobler bought it, and took it to incredible heights.

I worked at the original Togo's, near San Jose State University, when it was on William's Street. Mike Cobler actually hired me, at around $2.10 per hour. I worked there from 1974 until 1977, and saw three more TOGO's added to the mix.

We 'measured' hardly anything back in those days, packing about two day's worth of pastrami in those wonderful 'number nines'. I kept my fellow college students pretty well filled up!

Over my tenure as a sandwich jockey, I estimate I made around 30,000 sandwiches (sometimes going an entire shift, of six hours, without stopping).

If any of you reading this would like to know a bit more, please post something, and I'll fill in where I can.

By Mike in California on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:08 pm:

The Sandwich Making Contest at TOGO's #1

Just for the heck of it, I thought I’d post a little more trivia about the original Togo’s in San Jose, CA.

Like some pizza parlors, there was this large window at front of the shop, where folks would gather from outside and look in to watch a ‘sandwich master’ at work. At times, the ‘master’ would have an order of 12 or so different sandwiches, which he or she would turn into something like splashing paint on a canvas – some type of creative thing, I guess, making them all at once (not this ‘onesy-twosey’ thing like I’ve seen today – sorry – don’t mean to sound arrogant).

Well, to get the honor of that Number One Sandwich Board position, we held contests to see who could make a small #16 in the least amount of time. This little contest included cutting the bread to the proper size, adding oil, mayo, or mustard, placing all meats and cheese neatly on the bun, adding the full compliment of produce, wrapping the sandwich, placing it in a bag, and placing the finished goods on the counter, where the customer would be. The bottom line was the finished prize had to be in one piece (that is, edible)!

I had the honor of working at the Number One Board position for about a month, as no one beat my record of 45 seconds (and, I kept all my fingers in the process) for about a month. I don’t recall what the new record became, but it might have been within 10ths of seconds.

Man, those were great times!!!!!

By Sue from Pierceton, IN on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:54 pm:

I would really like Big Boy's recipe for there Cabbage soup, It's really good!

By sur5er on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 08:00 pm:

Sue from Pierceton,

Try this link for Big Boys Cabbage soup recipe. ;)


By Ross, Michigan on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 03:23 pm:

Bonnie!! Great to hear your voice echoing from the past. Your old boyfriend, long lost -- who never forgot about you. Believe it or not, I turned out OK. I hope everything is well with you! Send me an email some time -- maybe we can catch up on 30+ years' worth of life's strange twists.


By Annie, Arizona on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 04:42 pm:

Hey, another Elias Bros. Big Boy fan here. Does anyone have the recipe/link for the Slim Jim? Haven't found a sandwich as good as that one for years.

By Adriane Reeves- Minnesota on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 11:10 pm:

Hello to all of you BIG BOY fans. My Dad has always loved Big Boy- every time we take a trip through Michigan...our stops are planned by where we will be able to stop and have a Slim Jim or some Strawberry Pie. My Mom, Sister and I learned long ago that if you want pie, you order your own piece..there is no sharing! :) Some of our best vacations have included stops at Big Boy. I was on here in hopes of finding something close to the recipe and I did! Thank you so much for being a part of this site. I am going to surprise him with a homemade Fathers Day Big Boy strawberry pie! I can't wait!

By Nancy Rothe (Lilac) on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 10:31 pm:

I grew up in Warren MI and my Junior High was across the street from the Big Boy (Elias Bros) processing center where they make the food to be distributed to the Big Boy restaurants. Back in the early 70s (when I was going to the JH), a worker slipped while making gravy, fell into the industrial vat (must hold ~1000 gallons) and died. Don't know if this is an Urban Legend, but we do remember all the Rescue Trucks, Fire Trucks, and the Health Department decending on the scene. Made an impression on 12 year olds - who refused to eat gravy for weeks!

I worked at the Big Boy in Houghton one summer quarter when I was at Tech. Did food prep. I still remember weighing everything, how to make the filling for the Farmer's Omelet, and making the Belgium Waffle batter. I also did the Breakfast Bar.

Some favorite food memories were the pasties at Suomi Bakery, the cheese spread at Happy Hour at the Dog House, and the 'Bomb' at Togo's. Ah, good times, good times.

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