Village of Colon

Village of Colon

 

Unidentified newspaper clipping donated to the Colon Community Historical Society Museum: “VILLAGE OF COLON –  The village of Colon functioned for 70 years as a part of the township before it was incorporated in 1903. it’s history is most interesting as we see unfolded a very self-sufficient group. When the village was incorporated, most of the downtown building were already established. The first dwelling was built by Lorancie Shellhaus on Swan Creek in 1831. In 1832 the first dam on swan creek was built to power our first saw mill. The area has always been an agricultural one with wheat, corn, potatoes, wormwood, mint and cucumbers all playing a part. Colon continued its rapid growth when the railroad services were added on July 3, 1871. The Michigan Central passed in route between Jackson and Niles. 1872 brought the first Exchange Bank, the E. R. Hill & Company. Education was important to the early settlers. A small one-room log house on the Farrand farm provided its humble beginning. In the late 1800’s until 1889 the Seminary building, later to be Lamb Knit’s home, served to provide education above the 8th grade. From 1889 to 1907, the public school for the grades in the village was held in the building on Maple Street which has been restored to a home by Cal Shoop. In 1907 the Union school was built. This two story building served until 1961 when the new high school was built. The 1936, 1953, 1961, 1969 additions to the old Union building now serve as our elementary facility. The Seminary building which now provides a home for Woodcrafters, served the Lamb Knit Goods Company from 1889 until it closed in 1971. The library was founded in 1897. With a gift of Oliver and Mary Culver, the present building became the library’s permanent home in 1914. Ten churches have served Colon, seven of which still are. The Methodist and Baptist churches have served the village for about 140 years. The two areas which should be mentioned here could both be classified as entertainment history. First the theatrical people will long remember the old Opera House built by the Hills in 1897. it seated 600 people and staged many a great show. Many older citizens graduated from high school, with services held in the old Opera House. The village of Colon today is still a prosperous little town, even though there are few signs of what it was in 1900. it is in this change that we see the development of magic in Colon, which today gives us the self-proclaimed name of Magic Capitol of the World. Names like Harry Blackstone, Percy Abbott, Monk Watson, Recil Bordner and many, many more have been the keepers to see that the magic shows not only “must” but in fact do “go on.”