Archived Story

Dear John/Magician Lake

Published 10:40am Monday, May 6, 2013

How did Magician Lake get its name? Was it a tribute to the great vaudeville
magician, Harry Blackstone? He did retire to Colon, not too far from Dowagiac.


— Dave Thomas

According to the Magician Lake Improvement Association, theories abound.


Magician was originally known as Silver Lake, based on the appearance of its marl-rich bottom. Marl is an excellent organic fertilizer for lime-deficient soils.


Quite some time ago, the area apparently became popular with gentlemen from Chicago who were versed in sleight of hand, illusion and prestidigitation.


This led to the lake being referred to as “The Magician’s Lake,” and eventually, Magician Lake.


Another story revolves around this area’s original inhabitants.


According to legend, Indians considered the deep lake to be magical because no matter how bad drought conditions became, the lake level never dropped.


Native Americans called it the “Magic Lake.”

Magician Lake, straddling Cass and Van Buren counties, was the summer home of Chicagoan Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International.


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