Event Pictorials
May 22, 2012
“Big Louie” Moilanen, the Copper Country Giant, died 99 years ago, in 1913. It will be a century ago in 2013. And the community would like to erect a tribute to his memory, in the form of a statue, in Hancock. You can help. More on that in a moment, First, who was he.
To email Dana Richter: dlrichte@mtu.edu
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Louis Moilanen (1885-1913), was born in Finland to parents Louis and Annie Moilanen. When he was 4, the family immigrated to the U.S., to settle in the Salo district, a few miles north of Hancock. While his Mother was a diminutive 4 foot, (his father was 5'9"), Louie grew tall quickly. By the age of 9, he was already 6 foot 5 inches. “Big Louie” , as he quickly became known, would ‘top off’‘ at 8 foot 4 inches, making him the tallest man in the world for his time. Louie’s headstone in Hancock’s Lakeside Cemetery, would give his height as 8'3", and weight as 560 pounds. Big Louie worked in the Franklin Mine, hauling roofing timbers underground two at a time, for several years. Subsequently, he was sought out by Ringling Brothers Circus, and traveled with them, appearing as the Worlds Tallest Man for several years, finally returning to Hancock. He became a Justice of the Peace, and finally a bartender. He wore custom size 19 shoes, and a size 9 Stetson hat. Big Louie was a victim of his own huge size, dying after suffering a seizure in 1913, at the young age of 27.
Roland Burgan [ r-burgan@charter.net ]
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