Blackstone, the Magician, Dies; Helped Make Colon ‘Magic City’
Newspaper clipping, 1965, from Colon Historical Society: “Harry Blackstone, world famed magician who helped make Colon a “magic capitol” and his home for 20 years, is dead at 80.
He died at 10:15 last night at his home in Hollywood, California, after suffering three months from pulmonary edema. With him were his wife, Elizabeth, and his manager, Charles McDonald.
Mr. Blackstone’s son, Harry Blackstone Jr., also a magician, was appearing in a performance in Florida.
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MR. BLACKSTONE, who closed his “big show” in 1956 after more than a half century as a magician, continued to give personal performances for several years. His last appearance in this area was in 1961, when he took part in the world convention of 500 magicians at Colon and was given a standing ovation by them. He had moved from Colon to California in 1945.
The next year Colon renamed its main street Blackstone Avenue in his honor, and the magician’s former home site on Sturgeon Lake near Colon at 15 Red Riding Hood Trail for years has borne the name, Blackstone Island. In Battle Creek, where the great Blackstone performed many times through the years, one of his local fans named his business place, Blackstone Tavern, for him.
Blackstone’s brother, Pete Bouton, who performed with his brother throughout his career, and his wife, Millie, who served as wardrobe mistress for the troupe, still live in Colon, on N. Blackstone Avenue.
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BLACKSTONE was the stage name for Harry Bouton, born in Chicago September 27, 1885, one of seven sons of Alfred and Barbara (Deagen) Bouton.
Blackstone’s father, of French Huegenot descent, changed the family name from Boughton to Bouton when he opened a florist shop in Chicago in 1881.
Blackstone was young when his father died and so he worked at various times as a milkman, carpenter, plumber and foundry worker before he and his brother, Pete, started their magic act in 1904.”