Colon – Lakeside Cemetery

As part of the Magic Get Together that occurs each year in Colon, MI, many people take time to reflect on “magic’s final act.” A number of magicians and vaudevillians that retired from the road moved to Colon to work for Abbott’s, and some chose to spend their remaining days in the town. Colon also became the final resting place of many prominent figures in the magic community. The Lakeside Cemetery is where Harry Blackstone, Sr. (Harry Bouton), Pete and Millie Bouton, Harry Blackstone, Jr., and Robert & Elaine Lund, the founders of the American Museum of Magic, are a few among those interned there.

Of all the interesting stories that can be told in Lakeside Cemetery, two concern gravestones or markers within the Cemetery. The first is the marker for Little Johnny Jones, a magician who lived in Bangor, Michigan for many years. While he spent his final years in Wisconsin, Johnny wanted to be laid to rest in Colon. Johnny also wanted to be sure that his gravestone marker was completed to his liking – so it was put in Lakeside Cemetery well before he was! The final line of the stone reads: “Now I only have to fool St. Peter.” Johnny Jones died at 96 on January 15, 1995. In his piece, “Abracadabra: Magic in Michigan,” Robert Lund, the found of the American Museum of Magic wrote: “Johnny and l decided we would not let a little thing like death interfere with our friendship, so my wife and I have the two plots next to Johnny and his wife. “See you down the road,” as they say in show business.”

The second marker story is about someone who is buried in Sarasota, Florida, not in Lakeside Cemetery. It is a marker to recognize Inez Blackstone. Harry and Inez Blackstone discovered Colon and Blackstone Island together and it was Inez’s wish that this chapter in history be remembered. The marker is located immediately in front of the monument to Blackstone and the stone simply reads, “In memory of Inez Blackstone Kitchen, 1889 – 1983, With Harry, she brought magic to Colon.” That final line was written by Dan Waldron of Royal Oak, Michigan. Dan is the official historian of the Blackstone show and family. The stone is there thanks to a group of Inez’s friends who arranged for it after her death.