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Norton, Virginia
A view overlooking Norton, Virginia at Flag Rock
A view overlooking Norton, Virginia at Flag Rock
Official seal of Norton, Virginia
Seal
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County None (Independent city)
Founded 1894
Named for Eckstein Norton
Area
 • Total 7.51 sq mi (19.46 km2)
 • Land 7.48 sq mi (19.37 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)
Elevation
2,133 ft (650 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 3,687
 • Density 490.9/sq mi (189.47/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
24273
Area code(s) 276
FIPS code 51-57688
GNIS feature ID 1485924
Website http://www.nortonva.org/

Norton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in the far western tip of the state in Wise County. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,687, making it the least populous city in Virginia. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Norton with surrounding Wise County for statistical purposes.

History

The settlement was originally known as, "Prince's Flats", but in a bid to convince the Union Pacific Railroad to build a depot there, the town was renamed after the current head of the railroad, Mr. Eckstein Norton. Part of the Wilderness Trail blazed by Daniel Boone, and later extensively mapped and settled by Christopher Gest, Norton was a central hub for the timber trade until the coal boom of the 1930-40's.

The Hotel Norton is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Norton is located at 36°56′12″N 82°37′31″W / 36.936805°N 82.625146°W / 36.936805; -82.625146, along the Powell and Guest Rivers. The entire area of Norton lies within the confines of Wise County, but is not a part of the county.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19 km2), virtually all of which is land.

Major highways

  • US 23

  • US 58 Alt.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 654
1910 1,866 185.3%
1920 3,068 64.4%
1930 3,077 0.3%
1940 4,006 30.2%
1950 4,315 7.7%
1960 4,996 15.8%
1970 4,001 −19.9%
1980 4,757 18.9%
1990 4,247 −10.7%
2000 3,904 −8.1%
2010 3,958 1.4%
2020 3,687 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Norton city, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 3,478 3,223 87.87% 87.42%
Black or African American alone (NH) 250 179 6.32% 4.85%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 5 4 0.13% 0.11%
Asian alone (NH) 56 27 1.41% 0.73%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 6 14 0.15% 0.38%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 95 159 2.40% 4.31%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 68 81 1.72% 2.20%
Total 3,958 3,687 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Education

Norton City Schools is the school division of the city, operating John I. Burton High School and Norton Elementary and Middle School.

Notable people

  • Dock Boggs – musician and songwriter
  • Vernon Crawford "Jack" Cooke – bluegrass musician
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