King of the Road

A world traveler, philosopher and connoisseur of good food; our beloved Hobo Joe made Buckeye, Arizona his home 30 years ago. Until 2016, Hobo Joe welcomed Buckeye residents and visitors from outside Gillium’s Meat Locker Company formerly located just off Monroe Avenue on the East side of Downtown Buckeye, Arizona.

 

Designed by former Walt Disney Company Animator, Jim Casey, Hobo Joe was the face behind a chain of coffee shops bearing his name.

Originating right here in Arizona by Herb Applegate in 1965, the chain grew to eight locations throughout the Phoenix Metro Area before closing in the late 1980’s.

According to legend, only three differently sized molds were created for the iconic statue with our 25 foot statue at the largest end of the scale. As the largest; it is also said that Buckeyes’ Hobo Joe was the only statue of its size to have ever been cast. 

Local lore credits Buckeye resident Marvin Ransdell with casting the Hobo Joe who now looks over Downtown Buckeye. A fiberglass pool manufacturer, Marvin is said to have been commissioned to craft the standard 5’7″ Hobo Joe statues for use in front of the restaurants as well as one 25 foot version.  Due to a series of events, Hobo Joe stayed with Marvin who later gifted the large sculpture to his good friend Ramon Gillum in 1989. The rest is history…

 Moving Day

Forced to relocate when Mr. Gillium’s property was sold in 2016, Hobo Joe went into seclusion for 4 years.

On July 26th 2016, Hobo Joe began his move from 1015 Monroe Ave to his new home on 5th Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Buckeye, Arizona.

Now living just South of Monroe Ave., Hobo Joe’s new home was graciously donated by the John F. Youngker Family.

Directions to
say hello to Hobo Joe

 

Restoration

Restoring the 25 foot tall fiberglass statue was an arduous process spanning nearly 4 years.

Originally painted by Marvin Ransdell in 1984, thirty years of intense Arizona sunshine faded Hobo Joe to a pale version of his former self.

The Buckeye Main Street Coalition employed the help of local crafts people who dedicated countless hours to bring Hobo Joe back to life.

{ Select an image to view the gallery }

During the desert heat of Summer in 2018, Justin Crowley & Port Heiden began the process of sandblasting Hobo Joe.

Next, Mike Royal undertook the task of handpainting Hobo Joe and bringing him back to life.

Thank You

The Buckeye Main Street Coalition lovingly restored Hobo Joe to his former glory as a gift to Downtown Buckeye to be enjoyed for generations to come. Through the passion of volunteers & donors, Hobo Joe returned to his post as mascot of Downtown Buckeye, Arizona in 2020.

We would like to give a special thank you to our departed board members Ron Noble and Charlene Powers Broadbent who championed for Hobo Joe every step of the way.

Become a Friend of Hobo Joe

Through the next phase of Hobo Joe’s life, continued maintenance will be needed to keep him looking his best. Please consider donating to the cause.

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