Merrillville, Indiana is a town located in Lake County, just south of Gary. It is known as the “Center of Northwest Indiana” and is home to a large number of restaurants, banks, malls and businesses typical of late 20th century American suburbs. The area was once the province of the Potawatomi Indians and was later renamed to Centerville after the Merrill brothers (Dudley and William Merrill). Merrillville encompasses about 31 square miles that were once densely covered in forest.
Its gently undulating topography lends itself easily to cultivation and the soil is fertile. The area is drained by Turkey Creek and Deep River and there is no shortage of rainfall. The boundaries range from 53rd Avenue to the north, to 101st Avenue to the south and from Whitcomb Street to the west and County Line to the east. At one point, 16 roads (trails would be more appropriate) extended outward from Wiggins Point.
Other settlements had multiplied in the former Potawatomi hunting grounds and received names such as Deep River and Turkey Creek (because of the waterways they bordered), Ainsworth, Lottaville and Rexville. In 1848, all of these settlements, including Merrillville, were reunited under the name Ross Township. Merrillville is located in what used to be a forest that belonged to the Potawatomi Indians. In 1834, a clearing was created for ceremonial purposes and was named McGwinn Village.
A year later, a white man named Jeremiah Wiggins settled there; McGwinn Village thus gave way to Wiggins Point. Today, Merrillville is known for its many restaurants, banks, malls and businesses typical of late 20th century American suburbs. It is also known for its rich history as it was once part of the Potawatomi Indians' hunting grounds. The area has many trails that extend outward from Wiggins Point and other settlements that were named after local waterways.