Ceremonies Special to Blackstone Family
From The Sturgis Daily Journal, August 15, 1977: “COLON – ‘This is one of the most special experiences of my life, along with the marriage to my wife, Gay, and the birth of our children,’ stated Harry Blackstone Jr., during the Colon Blackstone Society dinner, Friday evening at Sturgis Holiday Inn.
The Michigan State Historical Society and Colon Historical Society combined their knowledge and historical information to commemorate the evening and the midnight dedication ceremony of an official State of Michigan Historical Marker at the township library in Colon to Harry Blackstone, Sr., and Colon’s history and heritage of magic.
The marker project was organized by Jerry D. Roe, Lansing, executive director of Michigan Republican party and the Michigan Historical Commission. Co-chairman was Mrs. Robert Smith, who heads the Colon Blackstone Society created to finance the marker and she staged the dedication, also helping was Congressman David Stockman of the 4th District.
Other committee members were Shirley Filip, Jackson, O. F. Decker, Colon mayor; David Farrell, president of the Colon Historical Society; Recil Bordner, president of Abbott’s Magic Manufacturing Co.; Marylyn McManus, Allan King and Attorney William Drake of Colon.
On the general arrangement committee were Jerry Roe, Paul Andres, Grand Ledge; Tim Tarry, Grand Ledge; Shirley Filip, Jackson; Diana Shaw, Lansing; Connie Smith, Colon; Congressman David Stockman, St. Joseph; Tom DeCair, Lansing; Chris Taylor, Grand Rapids; Congressman Gary Brown, Schoolcraft; Peter Fletcher, Ypsilanti; Jim and Polly Youngs, Galesburg; John and Sue Collins, Marshall, and Representative Ernest Nash of Dimondale.
Peter B. Fletcher, chairman of the State Highway Commission and Michigan Republican National Committee, served as master of ceremonies.
Guests of honor were Harry Blackstone, Jr., his wife Gay, and their children, Harry Blackstone III, Cynthia, Adrienne and Tracey.
Blackstone introduced aunt and sister-in-law of his father, Millie Bouton, who is the wife of the late Peter Bouton, Harry Blackstone Sr’s brother. Harry Sr. and Peter traveled around Chicago doing magic shows. They went on the road with a vaudeville act known as Harry Bouton and Co., in “Straight and Crooked Magic.”
Among the 200 guests were such dignitaries as 3rd District Congressman Gary Brown, Schoolcraft, who was honored with a special cake as he will be retiring this year; Judge and Mrs. William McManus, Colon; Judge and Mrs. Stanley Everett, Battle Creek; Judge and Mrs. Stanley Everett, Battle Creek; Judge and Mrs. David G. Gee, Howell; Representative and Mrs. Melvin Larsen, Oxford; Representative and Mrs. Ernest Nash, Dimondale; Judge Luke Quinn, Flint, and Representative Mark Siljander, Three Rivers.
Following cocktails and dinner, certificates of membership in the Blackstone Society and a gold engraved deck of cards were given to each guest.
Harry Blackstone, Jr., presented illusions of magic, dedicated to his father.
A number of presentations were awarded to Blackstone and his family. Among them were several framed certificates, two from Governor William Milliken; a special contribution certificate to Blackstone, Jr., and a certificate signed by the Governor proclaiming Colon August 10-13, 1977, as Magic Days in Colon. Others were from Michigan State Historical Society, tribute form the House of Representatives, award of merit from the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, a United States flag which flew over the capitol in Lansing; flag of the State of Michigan, two bottles of hand fermented champagne from Tabor Hill Vineyard in Paw Paw and each family member was awarded a gold pen from the governor.
O. F. Decker was presented a framed certificate for Colon and Reverend David Farrell a certificate from the Historical Society Museum.
The Blackstone Society members then traveled in a caravan of over 60 cars to the Colon Township Library where they were joined by magicians and friends for the unveiling of the State of Michigan Historical Marker by the Blackstone family. Blackstone, Jr., read the bronze letter tablet on both sides which tells of his father, Harry Blackstone, Sr., and Colon’s heritage and history of magic and Abbott’s Magic Manufacturing Co.
Members of the Blackstone Society then went to the home of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Smith, Colon, for refreshments.”
The Historical Marker was moved to the Colon Community Park in 2010.