The Norton family, men and women, have been providing outdoor products and service to sportsmen since the early 1950’s. Way back then, the late W.E. (Bill) Norton and his son, Vern, invented the first plastic fishing worm lure. Some of you old timers may remember Sportsman’s Products and the famous “Catch-Em-Quick” lures.
Amazingly they sold millions of those plastic worm lures from a
small shop in Marion, Indiana. The business thrived for
many years but changing times eventually lead to its sale in the
early 1970s. With the fishing business sold and passion
for the sport, Grandpa Vern went to work for JC Penny in the
1980s running their sporting goods department in their Marion,
Indiana store. Later JC Penny sold off and shut down their
own sporting goods departments.
The Norton's remained sportsmen and waited for another
opportunity to get back into the business. In 1992 Bill Norton
Jr. opened Walnut Creek Archery Club, INC. an outdoor 3-D archery
range on a 75-acre farm that he and his wife owned in Upland,
Indiana. The archery course was very successful and drew large
crowds to the weekend tournament shoots. It wasn't long before
a building was put in so customers could register for the shoots
inside and a small amount of retail could be browsed.
The store was expanded several times in the 1990s as the local
In 1998, Bill Norton Jr's son Jim Norton founded Norton
Technologies, Inc (an internet division) which developed the first online sporting goods website
WalnutCreekArchery.com for the Upland store. The website was among
the first in the industry and lead the way into the huge "Dot Com"
boom of the late 1990s. Jim's overall vision for the business didn't stop at just archery and he began branching into more items
that encompassed the entire sporting goods industry. The
Upland store's remote country location and space limitations quickly led the Norton Technologies division to relocate and invest in a completely new facility in
Gas City, Indiana. In 2010 Jim decided a new company name and logo were important to
better highlight what Norton Technologies Inc and Walnut Creek Archery had become with the growth of the
online sporting goods business. It was decided the company name would change to Walnut Creek Outdoors and the new
WalnutCreekOutdoors.com website was
born. Additionally at that time it was decided that the online based company Norton Technologies, Inc would open a new local retail
store in Gas City, Indiana under the new Walnut Creek Outdoors name. Now local customers could shop and take advantage of the large
sporting goods merchandise selection that once was only available to online shoppers. After 22 years in operation the original Walnut Creek Archery store location in Upland has closed with Bill's retirement but the Walnut Creek Outdoor's Gas City store has picked up and continues to expand operations today.
After nearly 60 years in the sporting goods industry, in one form or
another the Norton family continues to bring great products, great
prices, and best of all great customer service to local and online
customers throughout the world.