Muskegon is the county seat of Muskegon County. The city is located at the southwest corner of Muskegon Township, but is administratively autonomous. Muskegon is the largest city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. Muskegon is also known by the nicknames of "Lumbertown","Port City","Lumber Queen of the World" and the less formal "Skeetown".
According to the United States Census Bureau, Muskegon has a total area of 18 square miles, of which, 14.4 square miles is land and 3.7 square miles is water. The city is adjacent to two bodies of water: Lake Michigan to the west and Muskegon Lake to the north. The Muskegon River empties into Muskegon Lake at the city's northeast end.
Muskegon is derived from the Ottawa Indian term "Masquigon" meaning "marshy river or swamp". The "Masquigon" river was identified on French maps dating from the late seventeenth century, suggesting that French explorers had reached Michigan's western coast by that time. Euro-American settlement of Muskegon began in earnest in 1837, which coincided with the beginning of the exploitation of the area's extensive timber resources. The commencement of the lumber industry in 1837 inaugurated what some regard as the most romantic era in the history of the region.
Muskegon is home to the USS Silversides (SS-236) a World War II submarine located at The Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum. Also the USS LST-393, a World War II amphibious landing ship; and the USCGC McLane, a Prohibition-era United States Coast Guard cutter are now at this location. In addition, Muskegon also berths the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper a former car ferry that traveled the same route as Lake Express does today. The boat is in the middle of a long process of being restored to its original form, but in the mean time is open for tours and hosts a museum aboard the vessel with information on both the Milwaukee Clipper, as well as the history of Maritime in Muskegon. Muskegon's history surrounds around being a port for commerce or travel, and the city has embraced this image.
Current day Muskegon is rich in shopping districts. Downtown is popular as well as Lakeside, Henry Street, Apple Avenue, East Sherman Blvd, and the Harvey Street Corridor. Not only diverse in shopping experiences but also a broad array of restaurants and fine dining as well.
Muskegon contains several school districts covering everything from early childhood education to high school to community college. There are also opportunities through several Universities to take classes right in this area.
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