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Norton Shores, Michigan facts for kids

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Norton Shores, Michigan
Location of Norton Shores, Michigan
Location of Norton Shores, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Muskegon
 • Total 24.63 sq mi (63.78 km2)
 • Land 23.24 sq mi (60.20 km2)
 • Water 1.38 sq mi (3.58 km2)
614 ft (187 m)
 • Total 23,994
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,061.14/sq mi (409.70/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 231
FIPS code 26-59140
GNIS feature ID 0633743

Norton Shores is a city in Muskegon County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 23,994 at the 2010 census.


Norton Shores is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Muskegon County. The community of 22,527 residents encompasses over 24 square miles (62 km2) including Mona Lake and Black Lake as well as Hoffmaster State Park.

Norton Shores might best be described as a suburban environment with a balance of industrial and commercial development. It has also led the county in residential construction permits for the past five years. The city offers educational opportunities from the Mona Shores Public Schools to Muskegon Community College, Baker College and Grand Valley State University.


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. With the closing of the sawmills and the box factory, residents turned to raising fruit which became a very profitable industry. Boats would enter Lake Harbor and make a trip around the lake picking up crates of berries at the docks of the growers. They would then return to Lake Michigan with their cargo and transfer it to large steamers bound for Chicago.

In 1894 a summer resort community called Hackley Park was established on Lake Michigan and Mona Lake. It was named for Charles Hackley. The name was shortened to Hackley when it got a post office in 1895, although the post office closed in 1897.

Thanks to the Norton Township Volunteer Fire Department and the cooperation of the Norton Township Board, action was taken to incorporate Norton Township into a Home Rule City. An election to determine if Norton Township should be incorporated into a Home Rule City passed by a two to one margin and nine charter commissioners were elected to draw up the first City Charter which was adopted on April 16, 1968.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.62 square miles (63.77 km2), of which 23.24 square miles (60.19 km2) is land and 1.38 square miles (3.57 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 22,271
1980 22,025 −1.1%
1990 21,755 −1.2%
2000 22,527 3.5%
2010 23,994 6.5%
2019 (est.) 24,664 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,994 people, 9,977 households, and 6,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,032.4 inhabitants per square mile (398.6/km2). There were 10,939 housing units at an average density of 470.7 per square mile (181.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 3.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population.

There were 9,977 households, of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.2% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 43.3 years. 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.3% were from 25 to 44; 29.9% were from 45 to 64; and 17.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Norton Shores has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

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