Merrillville, Indiana is located in Lake County, 7 miles south of Gary and 30 miles southeast of Chicago. It is part of the Gary metropolitan area and is known as the “Center of Northwest Indiana”. The town was originally known as McGwinn Village and underwent several name changes before being named Merrillville, in honor of the Dudley brothers and William Merrill. In 1971, it officially became a city under Indiana law.
Merrillville is a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas, with a variety of restaurants, banks, malls and businesses typical of late 20th century American suburbs. The 31 square miles that surround the town were once densely forested and inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians. Lake County's county seat is Crown Point, 33 miles southeast of the Loop.