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Colon in St. Joseph County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Colon / Harry Blackstone

 
 
Colon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, November 19, 2012
1. Colon Marker
Inscription.  
(Obverse Side)
Colon
Known as the “Magic Capital of the World,” this small town has gained widespread recognition for the invention and manufacture of magic tricks. Colon's reputation as a magic mecca began after Australian Percy Abbott visited the famous American magician Harry Blackstone who lived in this area. Abbott subsequently returned to Colon and started the Abbott Magic Novelty Company in 1933. Mainly a mail-order operation, the company continues to devise tricks which baffle the human eye and mind. In 1934 Abbott sponsored the first “Magic Get-Together,” now an annual event attracting thousands of professional and amateur devotees. Blackstone himself as well as other famous conjurers have performed at these festivals.

(Reverse Side)
Harry Blackstone
One of America's most notable magicians, Harry Blackstone (1885-1965), lived in Colon. Born Harry Bouton, he began his professional wizardry career at the age of sixteen in his native city of Chicago. Blackstone's fame grew in the first three decades of the twentieth century when magic shows were a
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staple of vaudeville and Broadway. During World War II millions of servicemen watched him perform at gatherings of the USO (United Service Organizations). His shows often included the “dancing” handkerchief trick and rabbits which were given to young spectators. Blackstone utilized split-second timing and “misdirection” of the audience to create illusions. His colorful personality enhanced the drama of magic and endeared him to Colon which in the early 1960s renamed Main Street in his honor.
 
Erected 1977 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number L526.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1933.
 
Location. 41° 57.568′ N, 85° 19.621′ W. Marker is in Colon, Michigan, in St. Joseph County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West State Street and St. Joseph Street, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located in Colon Community Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Colon MI 49040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Leonidas Civil War Monument (approx. 5
Harry Blackstone Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, November 19, 2012
2. Harry Blackstone Marker
miles away); Mendon World War II Memorial (approx. 7.3 miles away); First White Settlers in Burr Oak (approx. 7.8 miles away); The Chicago Road (approx. 8.4 miles away); Riley Dam & Trail End (approx. 8.7 miles away); Bronson Public Library (approx. 9 miles away); World War Memorial Tree (approx. 9 miles away); Bronson High School World War I Memorial (approx. 9.1 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The marker was relocated from 128 S. Blackstone Ave to Colon Community Park in 2010.
 
Front Entrance to Colon Community Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, November 19, 2012
3. Front Entrance to Colon Community Park
Marker located on left side of pathway
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 10, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 597 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on April 19, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 10, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 25, 2024