Colon – The Magic Capital of the World

Colon, Michigan, with a population of less than 1200 people, is widely recognized as the Magic Capital of the World, an appellation dating back more than eighty years.

It all started in the midst of the Roaring Twenties when already world- famous stage magician Harry Blackstone bought a 208-acre farm on Sturgeon Lake. Blackstone became Colon’s most famous resident and called it home until he moved to California in 1949 for health reasons.

Blackstone was one of the most famous magicians of his era, on a par with Houdini or Thurston, and like a magnet drew many other famous entertainers to the area. His son, Harry Blackstone Jr., was raised in Colon and, thanks to television, eventually became even more famous than his father.

Colon’s reputation as a magic Mecca was further cemented when Percy Abbott visited Blackstone in 1927, married a local girl soon after, and eventually founded Abbott’s Magic Novelty Company in 1933. Abbott was soon joined by his partner, Recil Bordner and Abbott’s quickly became the largest and most predominant supplier of magic in the world. In 1934 Abbott sponsored the first Magic Get Together. And, more than 80 years later, the Get Together in August is still the cornerstone of the Colon year.

Today, there are 3 magic shops in little Colon, which is more brick and mortar shops in most states. Many local business, like Illusions Hair Care and Magic City Hardware, have adopted the magic theme. In the local cemetery there are more magicians buried, some world famous, some not so much, than in any other cemetery in the world. Embedded in the downtown sidewalks are 16-by-16-inch bronze stars comprising Colon’s Magic Walk of Fame and celebrating famous magicians who have had ties to the village. The high school athletic teams are known as the Magi and are usually accompanied on field or court by a six-foot rabbit mascot named Hare E. Blackstone.

One might say the village of Colon takes its long magic history very seriously.