Norton Shores is a city in Muskegon County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 23,994 at the 2010 census. The Ojibwe, Bodewadmi and Odawa Native Americans for hundreds of years occupied the wilds of Western Michigan. When European immigrants arrived they found openings in the forest made by the Native Americans, which were used to raise food. Norton Township was originally organized in 1845 by settlers of the village of Mill Point (now Spring Lake). The township was named in honor of Col. Amos Norton, a Canadian patriot who was implicated in the rebellion of 1837. Norton Township was part of Ottawa County and also included the Townships of Fruitport and Sullivan.
In 1855 Spring Lake Township was detached from Norton and organized as a township in Ottawa County. Also in 1855 the village of Black Lake was settled with a railroad station and a sawmill in Norton Township. Norton Township was separated from Ottawa County in 1859 and became a part of Muskegon County. The population of Norton Township in 1860 was 197 and in 1864 was 229. In 1847 the first sawmill in Norton Township was built. It was known as Robinson’s Mill and was located at the head of Black Lake (now known as Mona Lake). In 1850, Ira Porter arrived at Mona Lake. He operated Porter Sawmill and a fruit farm. One of the largest fruit farms in Norton Township was operated by G. N. Cobb who also operated a box factory for fifteen years beginning in 1869.
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