Colon, MI

Visit "The Magic Capital of the World" Colon, Michigan for Family Fun

Tracy Stengel via

The art of a magician is to create wonder. If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives become filled with joy. ~ Doug Henning

As you plan your summer, don’t forget to put Colon, Michigan “Magic Capital of the World” on your list of fun family day trips. The tiny town is a huge influence on all things hocus pocus and bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.

It all started with Harry Blackstone

In the 1920s, Harry Blackstone, a world-famous magician, bought a 208-acre farm on Sturgeon Lake in Colon to escape the Chicago heat. In 1927, he invited his friend Percy Abbott, an Australian vaudeville performer, to visit. During Abbott’s stay, they enjoyed fishing, swimming, and other summertime activities. They also discussed going into business together. In 1929, they launched Blackstone Magic Company.

They agreed Blackstone would be the face of the company. He was in charge of promoting the business while on the road. Abbott would stay in Colon and run the mail-order business and take care of the financials. He lived above the factory in a small apartment.

Their partnership lasted a mere 18 months. Apparently, Blackstone came back after a stint on the road and asked Abbott how much money they had made so far. Abbott replied something to the effect of, “Zip. Zero. Nothing.” Blackstone became enraged and they had a fierce argument that resulted with Blackstone throwing Abbott down the steps.

Now, without a job or place to live, Abbott went on the road himself, performing his act at places like Coney Island, New York. The pay was not enough for him to live on. It was so bad, he had to trade one of his illusions for a set of car tires so he could return to Colon.

He certainly didn’t return to Colon to reconcile with Blackstone or beg for his job back. Instead, it was for love. He’d fallen for a local, Glady’s Goodrich. Shortly after his return, they married and she became his lovely assistant on stage. They travelled the country performing their act until the they grew weary of the road. In 1934, they established permanent residency in Colon and launched Abbott’s Magic Company. via

Abbott’s Annual Get Together

The following year, they started “Abbott’s Get Together,” an event for magicians to hone their skills, watch performances, and network with others in the magic community. It became, and still is, an annual event in August that draws more than a thousand attendees and performers from all over the world.

Last year, due to Covid, it was done virtually. This year, because of Covid restrictions, it can only accept a limited number of registrants, and sadly, will not be open to the public. However, if you happen to be in Colon August 4–7, 2021, you might get lucky and see magicians practicing their craft at local bars and restaurants in the evening.

The local cemetery is the "final act" for many magicians

Over the years, magicians attending Abbott’s Get Togethers became smitten with Colon, the town named for two nearby lakes that, together, form the shape of the punctuation mark. Some became employees of Abbott’s Magic Company and others made Colon their home after retiring from the road. Colon was a place where they could be near their magician friends. The local cemetery has interred at least 28 famous and not-so-famous magicians, which is more than any other cemetery in the world.

The whole town embraces magic

You can find Colon’s “Magic Walk of Fame” downtown. Embedded in the sidewalks are 16 x 16-inch bronze stars honoring famous magicians that have a connection to Colon.

There are three magic shops in Colon: Fab Magic Company, Abbott’s Magic Company, and Sterlini Magic Manufacturing. If you are looking for invisible ink, or floating light bulbs (who isn’t?) Colon has you covered.

The school’s athletic teams are referred to as the Magi. A highlight of local sporting events is seeing the six-foot tall mascot — a rabbit of course — named Hare E. Blackstone.

Be sure to visit Colon, Michigan and get in touch with your inner Harry Potter!

Comments / 0

Published by

Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

More from Tracy Stengel

Comments / 0