Norton is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, and contains the village of Norton Center. The population was 19,031 at the 2010 census. Home of Wheaton College, Norton hosts the Deutsche Bank Championship as well as a tournament of the PGA Tour held annually on the weekend preceding the Labor Day holiday at the TPC Boston golf club.
Norton was first settled in 1669. Then called North Taunton for its location on the northern border of Taunton, Massachusetts, the town's name was shortened to Norton upon its official establishment on March 17, 1710. Parts of Norton were originally established as Easton on December 21, 1725, and as Mansfield on April 26, 1770.
Metacomet, the Wampanoag Indian sachem also known as "King Phillip", is said to have hidden in a cave here near the end of King Philip's War before meeting his death in Hockomock Swamp. According to one source, "Every Norton school child has been entertained with the legend of King Phillip's Cave."
The bandstand within the town center was originally erected using donated funds during the first Gulf War, in honor of the veterans who served from Norton.
Norton is a small but growing town. In elementary school, students were told the story of the "Devil's Foot Print," where James Wetherall sold his soul to the devil. The devil's foot print can be seen at Norton's Joseph C. Solmonese Elementary School. Every 26 years, the school unburies a time capsule, the last of which was buried in 1999. The Sun Chronicle describes:
So it was in December 1997, when a traffic light was installed at the intersection of routes 123 and 140 in Norton. It was the town's first full traffic light and, in a manner of speaking, it declared "Norton isn't Mayberry anymore."