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city, seat (1859) of Muskegon county, western Michigan, U.S. It is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Muskegon River (there forming Muskegon Lake), 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Grand Rapids. The city is the largest port on Lake Michigan's eastern shore, with an extensive international trade. The name is from an Algonquian word meaning "marshy river." Laid out in 1849 near the site of a fur trading post (established 1812), Muskegon became a major sawmill centre and shipping point for lumber to Chicago. Damaged by fire in 1890, the city rebuilt many of its buildings. With the depletion of the forests it turned to industry, including the manufacture of paper, automotive and turbine parts, tools, machinery, and chemicals; it also became a popular tourist destination.