H05-1590.20. Big Top Restaurant (ca. 1945-1950). Papers, 1947-1962. 1 folder.


Hope College

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The Big Top restaurant was built in the mid-1940s and was open only during the summers. It burned to the ground in August 1950. The U.S. Coast Guard station building is there now. It was owned by Roy E. Young, former clown and magician, and designed and decorated by his son, Rex Young, also a former circus clown. It was decorated with circus posters, photographs, and other circus memorabilia collected by Rex. Before it was a the Big Top, it served as the automobile garage for Ottawa Beach Association cottage owners, then as a beer garden and dance hall. The collection includes photographic slides (digitized) of the restaurant’s owner and staff in 1947, as well as newspaper clippings about its demise and the 1962 death of Roy E. Young. (B)


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